dance4life, the premier global initiative educating youth about HIV and AIDS, is now launching in the U.S. We recognize the massive potential within young people to change the world; with our innovative methods, we show them that caring about the issues that severly affect this generation can not only be fulfilling, but also cool and fun. Essentially, dance4life achieves our mission by embracing elements of youth culture - such as music, dance, fashion and celebrities to not only attract young people, but to also inspire them towards action.
Since launching in 2003, dance4life has become a growing, worldwide movement and has reached more than one million young people. Around half of these young people have gone on to take action to contribute to stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS; we call these young people agents4change. dance4life is currently active in almost 30 countries on 5 continents and has been active in the U.S. since 2007, with programs in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
What We Do
dance4life gives young people ages 13 to 24 the correct information about sex, HIV and AIDS, and provides them with the skills they need to be able to protect themselves and those around them. dance4life believes that if young people across the globe are educated and empowered to stand up for their sexual health and rights, we can, amongst other things, halt the further spread of HIV and AIDS. We additionally focus on building self-esteem, because the more young people believe in themselves, the more likely they are to make the right decisions.
dance4life originally focused solely on HIV and AIDS issues, but over the years we found that the young people we help today are also encountering broader issues. In response to our social climate, we have now committed ourselves to focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, which includes the fight against HIV/AIDS.
WHY IS dance4life NECESSARY IN THE USA?
- In the U.S. there are 1.3 million people living with HIV and AIDS
- The U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world. One-third of girls get pregnant before the age of 20 (annually 750,000 teen pregnancies). Eight out of ten of these pregnancies are unintended and 81% are to unmarried teens.
- 1 in 4 teens in the U.S. feel pressure to date; 14% said they would do almost anything to keep a boyfriend or girlfriend and one-third of teens feel that sex is expected.
- Almost half of teens have done something to compromise their own values to please their partner. 3 out of 5 teens said that they've had a partner who made them feel bad or embarrassed about themselves.
- 20% of those who have been in a serious relationship have been violated by their partner.
- Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of high school, remain single parents and consistently score lower on standardized educational tests than teenage girls without children.
- 30% reported worrying about their personal physical safety in a relationship.
dance4life is convinced that a world without AIDS is a very realistic goal. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the biggest threats to the future of young people worldwide, something that we want to turn around. We are clear in our aim: zero new HIV infections amongst young people.
dance4life believes that:
- All young people should be valued and acknowledged.
- All young people are equally able to enjoy and express their sexuality in the ways that they choose.
- All young people are free to decide and express themselves about their sexual and reproductive lives.
- All young people should have access to information and evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education in formal and non formal settings
- All young people should have access to youth friendly health services, with service providers listening to them and meeting their needs without judgment.
- Everyone is free from stigma and discrimination and has equal access to prevention, treatment, care and support services.
- Young people can be inspired to make their own, correct, choices
- Young people can inspire and activate their friends to participate in this global movement, creating change within their communities, encouraging others to change their behavior and perceptions too.
.....they only need to be inspired, educated and activated to do so!
Join us in the global movement and donate today! Help us empower youth towards action in the fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, and give young people the needed tools to combat the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic. Invest in our society's most precious and overlooked resource: our youth!