Rockin’ the Red Pump

Even though this bella is an avowed wearer of flat shoes, just for today I’m rockin’ a pair of red pumps — all in the name of a righteous cause.

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, in 2005, women represented 26 percent of new AIDS diagnoses (compared to only 11 percent of new AIDS cases reported in 1990).

Women of color are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and AIDS is now the leading cause of death for black women ages 25 to 34.

I’m part of a team, 95 bloggers strong, who are rocking the red pump today in the name of HIV/AIDS awareness.

I am fortunate. I grew up in a loving, open, and supportive family, and also my father spent years working for CAREC, the Caribbean Epidemiology Center, which was primarily responsible for AIDS education and awareness in Trinidad and throughout the Caribbean. Needless to say, I’ve always been made aware of the importance of sexual safety, and the necessity of getting tested for HIV and other STDs.

Many other people are less fortunate, and far less informed.

I’ve met people who still choose to believe that AIDS is a disease that only afflicts the gay population. WRONG. And note I said “choose to believe,” because that can only be willful ignorance in this day and age. And I said “met” because I can’t be friends and hang out with folks who are that willfully ignorant.

I’ve known quite a few people who haven’t been tested for STD’s before having unprotected sex with people they hardly know.

And saddest of all, I’ve known people who have refused to get tested. They’re afraid of what they might find out.

Today, I implore them, and everyone else, to wake up.

AIDS doesn’t discriminate according to your race, gender, sexual orientation, class, or country of origin.

Today, I and the rest of the Red Pump crew encourage you to get tested and get the facts about HIV/AIDS.

If you live in Chicago or Kansas City, there are special Red Pump events taking place near you tonight! Click here for the details!

Bellas, fellas – if you’ve got something to say about the state of HIV/AIDS awareness in the community, please speak your piece! If you’re involved with or know about a great HIV/AIDS charity in your neighborhood, please share it with me!

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Comments

  1. Thanks you SOOOOO much, Bella, for participating in the RED Pump Project! We appreciate you and the other female bloggers for being a part of this initiative to raise awareness on the effect of HIV/AIDS on Women & Girls. Much Love!

    Luvvie

  2. P.S. If you’re rocking redp umps today, you can upload a picture to the Red Pump Project Flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/redpumpproject/

  3. hi Bella! Thank you for highlighting AIDS awareness not just on Dec 1st.
    I wish I knew about this earlier and had red pumps to wear, but I’ll be wearing them in spirit.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I just got tested last week and recieved my results this morning. Negative, Thank you Lord. Its surprising how ignorant to the fact young people are and how they take their actions so lightly not fully understanding the repercussions that follow. Im glad that more is being done as far as awareness and we should wear Red Pumps every month to honor AIDS awareness.

  5. I, too, am Rocking the Red Pump today. In this day and age, with the amount of information we have, these statistics are both shocking and depressing.

  6. I (and my boyfriend of 6 years) get tested at the same time every year. A quick prick or swab, a week’s (if that) wait, and I know I am clean and STD/HIV free. GET TESTED!! Isn’t the KNOWLEDGE of knowing that you are not infected worth the small wait time?! I don’t get how people don’t want to know. Isn’t your health important to you? Aren’t YOU important to you? You are important to ME!! My life is too important to me and my daughter to not know my status or to not take care of myself (check ups, GYN visits, PAP smears, checking the girls every month). Now I need to buy some red pumps so that I can participate next year! Stephanie: that goes for older people, too! One of the fastest growing HIV rates is among OLDER adults.

  7. I (and my boyfriend of 6 years) get tested at the same time every year. A quick prick or swab, a week’s (if that) wait, and I know I am clean and STD/HIV free. GET TESTED!! Isn’t the KNOWLEDGE of knowing that you are not infected worth the small wait time?! I don’t get how people don’t want to know. Isn’t your health important to you? Aren’t YOU important to you? You are important to ME!! My life is too important to me and my daughter to not know my status or to not take care of myself (check ups, GYN visits, PAP smears, checking the girls every month). Now I need to buy some red pumps so that I can participate next year! Stephanie: that goes for older people, too! One of the fastest growing HIV rates is among OLDER adults.

  8. sorry for the double post, bella! whoops.

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  1. [...] already know — I’ve been rocking the red pump for a while now! The Red Pump Project, a charitable organization led by my friends Luvvie of [...]

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