Philanthropy Friday: Philly FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP)

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week: Y-HEP, a program that seeks to empower young people to understand, care, and make healthy choices as they transition into adulthood.

Y-HEP Director Tiffany Thompson

Y-HEP Director Tiffany Thompson

Who are you? My name is Tiffany Thompson, director of Philadelphia FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP). Y-HEP is a trauma-informed, comprehensive adolescent and young adult program that offers holistic health services, sexual health education, drug and alcohol support, drop-in day services, counseling and therapy, and leadership activities to over 3,000 high-risk/high-promise, low-income, urban youth aged 13 to 24 living in Philadelphia.

When was your organization founded? Y-HEP was founded in 1994 as a citywide pilot program to address the spread of HIV in Philadelphia’s young adult population. In 2001, Y-HEP joined forces with Philadelphia FIGHT, a comprehensive health-services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research, and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk. Today Y-HEP has grown from a small street outreach program to a multi-faceted, community-based health and leadership development program for Philadelphia youth.

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New Studies Show PrEP “Extraordinarily Effective” in HIV Prevention

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

The Human Rights Campaign is speaking out about early results of two new studies that show using Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is “proving extraordinarily effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.”

Findings for the studies were released at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle. The first, called The PROUD Study, “assesses the effect the use of PrEP has on the frequency with which men have sex, how often they use condoms, and whether they contract other sexually-transmitted infections.” The other, called the IPERGAY Study “examines whether Truvada is still effective as a preventative when taken “on demand,” which is defined as taking the pill two to 24 hours before sexual intercourse and again after, as opposed to daily.” The results:

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PHOTOS: 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala Starring Out NFLer Wade Davis

Friday—after a heated game of dodgeball with local LGBT youth on Thursday—former NFL pro Wade Davis hit up Philadelphia FIGHT‘s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala to serve as keynote speaker. Davis, who came out publicly in 2012, is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

Besides the star power, the gala was rife with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live jazz ensemble, and a silent auction, with proceeds benefitting FIGHT‘s Jonathan Lax Treatment Center, Y-HEP (Youth Health Empowerment Project) initiative, and the John Bell Health Center.

Freedom G Photography’s Tara Lessard was there to capture the event on digital film. Check out some of her shots below.



NFL Pro Wade Davis Takes On Philly FIGHT Youth In a Game of Dodge Ball

wade davis football

Openly gay former NFL player Wade Davis is coming to Philly tomorrow to speak at Philadelphia FIGHT’s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala, a fundraiser for the organization’s mission to destroy HIV in Philly and beyond. Before he takes that stage, though, he’s going to warm up with a quick game of dodge ball with some of FIGHT’s youth.

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News From Philadelphia FIGHT: World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast on Monday, Y-HEP Staffer Named to POZ 100 List

Fight header

There’s a double dose of exciting news coming out of Philadelphia FIGHT, the comprehensive AIDS service organization that provides a variety of healthcare and educational services throughout our region.

To start, they’ll be hosting the World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast this Monday, December 1 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, located at 237 S. Broad Street. The ceremony, which features Bishop Ernest McNear, starts at 8 AM. Philadelphia FIGHT describes the event as follows:

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WATCH: Philly LGBT Youth “Shake It Off” In “It Gets Better” Video

“Some people will do everything in their power to make you feel like you are worthless, like you are helpless, and like you are alone. We are here to remind you that not one of those things is true.”

So begins the Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP)‘s uplifting, make-you-want-to-boogie video that was made during last week’s “It Gets Better Project” residency at the Kimmel Center.

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Out NFL Star Wade Davis to Speak at Philadelphia FIGHT’s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala

wade davis football

Here’s something to consider when you start making your holiday plans: Local nonprofit Philadelphia FIGHT is hosting the 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala fundraiser to raise money for its mission to fight HIV in Philly and beyond.

The evening will include a special guest appearance  and speech from Wade Davis, the former Washington Redskins player who came out publicly in 2012. These days Davis is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

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PHOTOS: The Legendary Crystal Ball

University of the Arts’ Hamilton Hall was dripping with eleganza and all-around fabulousness Saturday night when Philadelphia Fight hosted the COLOURS Oganization‘s annual Legendary Crystal Ball in conjunction with its monthlong AIDS Education Month events. The evening brings together some of the city’s most ferocious house/ballroom houses to duke it out for the top prize in categories that range from Best Female Figure Face to Best Male Figure Realness and Best Female Figure Sex Siren. It’s the fiercest thing you’ve seen since the last time you watched Paris Is Burning.

For that extra touch of LGBT, the theme for the night was all things Wizard of Oz — from the original movie to The Wiz and Oz the Great and Powerful. Philly Fight was kind enough to send along some photos from the competition. First, bow down, (seriously, you’re not worthy) then check out the amazing action shots in the slideshow below.



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