Supermodel to Visit Philly

Victoria Secret's Doutzen Kroes joins Philadelphia FIGHT for HIV awareness campaign

Philadelphia FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP) has joined forces with Dutch-based dance4life, an international initiative aimed at educating and empowering young people about HIV prevention. Victoria’s Secret Doutzen Kroes (you may also recognize the Dutch model from Calvin Klein’s Eternity campaign) will join FIGHT and Philadelphia City Officials Sept. 13 to discuss the project’s impact on local youth.

“I saw with my own eyes how dance4life engages young people,” the models says. “It is fantastic to experience how the dance4life tour team visits schools, inspiring young people with dance and a positive message to learn how to protect themselves and others from becoming HIV positive.”

Philly – currently the only U.S. site hosting dance4life – joins 28 countries in this global arts and education program. Students at various schools and youth programs in the Philadelphia region will have the opportunity to experience the dance performance, and engage in the education program through community service. Students will also be able to participate in the upcoming biannual global dance event, all aimed at encouraging young people to take responsibility for their sexual health.

In 1994, Y-HEP began as a citywide pilot project to reduce the spread of HIV and STDs among adolescents and young adults in the Philadelphia area, says Mark Seaman, a spokesperson for Philadelphia FIGHT. “Today, Y-HEP is a multi-faceted, community-based health and leadership development program for Philadelphia youth,” he says. “Y-HEP serves high-risk, hard-to-reach teens and young adults ages 13 to 24 through a range of activities and support systems.”

Though this program will hopefully inspire even more young people in the community, Seaman says each year FIGHT reaches more than 8,000 people through education and outreach efforts. The organization also treats as many as 1,200 individuals with HIV at the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center. “FIGHT’s goal is to end the AIDS epidemic within the lifetime of those currently living with HIV,” he says.

And if a supermodel can help make that a reality, so be it.

Check out a new PSA for dance4life: