World AIDS Day and Global Young Adults
Celebrated each year on December 1st, World AIDS Day is a time for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those living with the disease, and commemorate those who have died.
With this year’s event upon us, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) wanted to learn more about the role HIV/AIDS plays in the lives of young people around the world. To accomplish that, VIMN commissioned a study of 804 people ages 16 to 34 in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and Southeast Asia.
Here is a summary of those findings:
HIV/AIDs continues to be a subject of great importance to young adults globally–though many see it as more of a distant problem.
This issue still resonates with young people, with nearly three out of four saying they feel that HIV/AIDS is an important issue in today’s society.
HIV/AIDS is universally recognized as a global problem (90% agree), and it’s also seen as a local issue in countries like France (49%) and Southeast Asia (53%).
A recent MTV Knowing Youth study of sex attitudes among people 16 to 24 in six European countries found that HIV/AIDS is their biggest worry around sex (46%)–far ahead of the next most common concern, pregnancy (24%). Those in Southern Europe generally worry more about HIV/AIDS than Northern Europeans.
Though young people in Europe cite HIV/AIDS as a concern, the trend is toward them not seeing it as something that would affect them directly. A large and growing proportion believes it’s not something that would happen within their group of friends (47% in 2014, up from 32% in 2008).
They believe HIV/AIDS is as important as some issues that receive more attention in the media.
Only 15% of global young adults perceive HIV/AIDs as receiving a lot of media coverage.
Topics that they believe do receive a lot of media attention are terrorism (57%) and Ebola (52%). However, when considering the importance of various topics, they view HIV/AIDS as nearly as important (76% say Ebola is quite or extremely important, 78% terrorism, 73% HIV/AIDS).
Global young people believe that companies can and should play an important role in supporting causes–and they respect those that do.
Virtually all young people believe that businesses should get involved–90% agree it’s important that companies take their social responsibility seriously and support causes in the world.
Nearly 8 in 10 feel more positively about companies when they support causes and 91% admire companies that support causes or advocate for social issues.
They believe companies can make a big difference in solving the world’s problems, with 85% agreeing that companies can make a bigger social impact than non-profit agencies.
Businesses with pro-social causes are also a source of inspiration, with 82% agreeing that companies that support positive causes encourage them to get involved.
When young adults support a cause, they prefer to see the direct impact of their efforts.
The number one reason young people cite for supporting charities is the desire to make a difference. They are four times more likely to support charities because they “want to make a difference” than to “give back to their communities” or to “feel good about themselves.”
Child and domestic abuse and government corruption are the most important issues to global young adults. However, they are more likely to support causes where it’s easier to make a noticeable impact, like sponsoring a hungry child or participating in a run/walk for cancer research.
One fifth of young adults say they’re likely to support foundations dedicated to HIV/AIDs. One such organization is the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, which supports HIV prevention projects around the world.