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STDs & HIV





Missy Elliott Says “Work It”…with a Condom:
MTV Concert Promotes Safer Sex
Author: Julio Alvarez, Christian Placencia, Cristal Juárez, Karina Huerta, Angel Mejía





Missy Elliott gave a performance like no other while 
promoting the importance of safer sex. She was part of 
the YouthAIDS “Staying Alive Concert” in Seattle, 
Washington on November 7th. Missy is happy to help 
stop HIV/AIDS, and it shows. She got the crowd hyped 
up and dancing while she stated the main purpose of 
the event– raising money and awareness for YouthAIDS. 

It was a one-of-a-kind experience, and we were all 
there. Picture this: The outside of the concert 
building was like a melting mountain of copper. It was 
surrounded by tall buildings, an amusement park, and 
Seattle’s famous Space Needle. As we walked into the 
concert hall, the anticipation was killing us. 

We were there to represent ShoutOut, one of PSI’s many 
YouthAIDS projects around the world. Our role was to 
help set up for the event, sell t-shirts and put up 
our YouthAIDS graffiti mural. We also brought our Mr. 
Loverman costume with us–a giant condom that 
says “Protecting The World’s Youth” on the back. Julio 
put on the costume and passed out condoms while the 
doors opened and the invasion of people rushed inside 
pushing each other to reach a spot at the stage’s 
front row. 

The fist two performances were by Michelle Branch and 
Dave Matthews. Michelle warmed up the crowd while our 
Mr. Loverman jumped around on the dance floor. Dave 
Matthews mellowed things out with an acoustic 
performance. The sidewall of the concert was covered 
with a large video screen. In between sets, video 
messages from famous artists played, stating the 
importance of safer sex and HIV/AIDS awareness. 

Then it happened: Missy Elliott hit the stage and the 
crowd went wild–the music, the lights and Missy 
surrounded by back up dancers and incredible 
breakdancers. She even came down from the stage and 
made her way through the crowd greeting many lucky 
fans. Everyone was screaming and reaching out to touch 
her. Missy threw out her own personal-logo t-shirts 
into a sea of hands. The back of the shirt read: “If 
you get ‘Ur Freak On’, make sure you ‘Work It’ with a 
condom.”

 Missy certainly made sure that everyone knew what is 
really going with AIDS. At one point a fan yelled out 
that he doesn’t use condoms. Missy responded, “Well, 
you better or you might not make it to the next 
concert!” She’s right–teens are the highest number of 
new HIV cases. 

We all had VIP passes so we got to go to the VIP 
lounge and to the after-party. There were lots of 
appetizers and finger food and we got to eat all we 
wanted. The after party was full of life. Everyone’s 
true colors came out as the lights went down and the 
DJ played. We got down and boogied. We even had Mr. 
Loverman make an appearance and he got a lot of action 
freaking with all the girls. The dancing was fun and 
went on until the wee hours of the morning. The sweat 
ran down our faces and our feet started to hurt from 
so much dancing.

The after-party and the concert were great 
experiences, but the whole road trip was great. We 
spent four days driving in our “Safer Sex Machine”–
newly decorated thanks to a donation from Levi’s. The 
entire drive to and from Seattle was full of natural 
masterpieces. The incredible scenery included 
chameleon-like trees that were changing color, and 
charming architecture. We got to really know each 
other. We talked, ate, slept, sang and laughed 
together. All of us got to be our real selves, which 
is a hard thing to do sometimes. 

While we all went to the concert in Seattle, there was 
also a “Staying Alive Concert” in Cape Town, South 
Africa. The concert line-up featured performances by 
Alicia Keys and P. Diddy. Both concerts were aired 
globally on a 90 minute MTV special on, December 1st 
(World AIDS Day).

 The fact that our actions will help to fight AIDS 
makes us happy. There is no cure for AIDS–the best way 
to save lives is to keep people from getting infected. 
So, for all you teens who are gonna have sex, you 
should listen to Missy and make sure you “Work It” 
with a condom.