AIDS Month 4th Annual Youth Outreach, Educational and Empowerment Summit

Posted by on May 24, 2010

As the Director of The Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP), I am writing about ways in which Y-HEP can provide your students with educational workshops about social and sexual health.  Y-HEP is a vibrant, multi-faceted, community-based health and leadership development program for Philadelphia youth that began in 1994 and is a program of Philadelphia FIGHT.   An estimated 18,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2008 in Philadelphia, (66% African American, 12% Latino and 21% white; 27% were female).  Young people ages 13-19 are an increasing percentage of those identified as living with HIV/AIDS.  African American youth are disproportionally impacted totaling 67% of positive youth in Philadelphia compared to 13% among white youth. Additionally, AIDS diagnoses for those aged 20-29 were 13.8% in 2008, while new HIV diagnoses were 24.7% in the same year.  Y-HEP’s mission is to support urban youth ages 13 to 24 as they transition into adulthood through a comprehensive range of harm reduction and social and sexual health development programs.   There are two ways that you and your student can get involved:

1) Host a Workshop for your Class. Youth ages 15-19 have consistently been the highest group presenting with either Gonorrhea or Chlamydia since 2004.  As way to inform them about their risk, Y-HEP would also like to visit your schools to conduct fun and interactive workshops about social and sexual health issues in the months leading up to the summit. The workshop topics include HIV/STD awareness, healthy relationships, communication skills, and peer education and are taught by trained sexual health educators and youth peers.  Participants will also become more actively involved in advocating and empowering the youth community.

2) Attend the 4th Annual Youth Outreach, Educational and Empowerment Summit on June 26, 2010 at Temple University’s Student Center from 11am-7pm.  This Summit is one of the many programs offered to Philadelphia youth as part of June’s AIDS Education Month. Last year, 272 youth participated in the summit and we hope to increase that number and expand our reach this year to even more adolescents in Philadelphia.  The primary goal of the Youth Outreach, Educational, and Empowerment Summit is to engage and educate youth about issues that impact them today with workshops around HIV/AIDS, STDs, social networks, gender and sexuality, healthy relationships, peer education, media and arts, and prevention techniques.

If your school is interested in having a Y-HEP educator come out to meet with your students or have questions about the different workshops topics, please contact Tiffany Thompson at 215-564-6388 x322 or


Katie Dunphy

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