Posts Tagged ‘national women and girls HIV/AIDS awareness day’

Why HIV Testing Should be on Every Woman’s To-Do List

Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in a campaign shoot for #DoingIt, the CDC’s latest campaign promoting HIV testing along with Rae Lewis-Thornton and Charreah Jackson (ESSENCE Magazine). In support of the campaign and National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I shared this post today on The Red Pump Project‘s blog.

If you are like me, then you know that life can be incredibly busy. From family to work and beyond, it seems like there are always more tasks than there is time. As a new mom who works full-time and helps lead The Red Pump Project‘s incredible mission, my life is hectic, fast, and overwhelming. With so many items that must get done and so few hours, it is VERY easy to push self-care to the bottom of my list. Taking care of my body and mind becomes a last priority. We are all guilty of it.

However, there’s no time like the present to change that for the better.

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day of education, empowerment, and action. We should also use this day to take a step back and think about our health and how we take care of ourselves. We only have one life. It is worth protecting and you must be the one to do so. The best defense is a good offense and HIV testing needs to be part of your strategy.

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HIV testing is free, fast, and confidential. And, almost everyone should be #DoingIt. In fact, the CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and that people with certain risk factors get tested more often. If you aren’t 100% sure of your HIV status, then you need to add “get tested” to the top of your to-do list.

Write it down NOW. 

Always make time for HIV testing, girlfriends, and cake. In that order.

Always make time for HIV testing, girlfriends, and cake. In that order.

Getting tested is the first step to protecting your health. If your test reveals that you are living with HIV, it is important to get connected to a care team, which can include doctors, a case manager, peer supporters, and a specially-trained pharmacist. Available treatments are very effective; can prolong life; and may also reduce risk of transmission by reducing the amount of the virus in your body. If your test is negative, you can take action to continue to protect yourself and your status.

The great news is that new HIV diagnoses declined 40% among women from 2005 to 2014, with the greatest decline seen among African American women (42%). But, this doesn’t mean that our work is done. We must continue to talk about HIV with our loved ones and peers. If it is one thing that I have learned through my years leading Red Pump, it is to never underestimate the power of a conversation. Talking about HIV prevention, testing, and treatment is key to fighting stigma and ending this epidemic.

To find a testing site near you, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636); visit cdc.gov/DoingIt; or text your ZIP code to KNOW IT (566948).

Today’s to-do list: Know my status (check). Talk about the importance of HIV testing (check). #RocktheRedPump (check).

I know what I have to do today. Do you?

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Red Pump Rocking with Essence Magazine

“This is incredible! It’s like a Black girl’s dream.”

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When I told my best friend that The Red Pump Project was featured in the March issue of ESSENCE Magazine, those were the words that she shared. Well, that was after a lot of “OMGs,” “I’m so proud,” and “I’m not going to cry.” I totally knew what she meant though. Essence is such an incredible magazine for Black women and to be included for my passion project is incredibly empowering.

When Luvvie and I first started Red Pump in 2009, we just wanted to make a difference and BOOM. Here we are. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s been a worthwhile one. I am over the moon about this article and have not stopped swooning over the red heels/red ribbon image. Dear Essence fashion team, y’all did that. So fabulous!

Next Tuesday, on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Red Pump will head to New York City for our first event in the Big Apple. In partnership with Essence, we will host Red Power Conversations, a free evening of powerful dialogue about the issues that affect HIV & Black women.

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Our lineup of panelists is incredible:

  • Hydeia Broadbent – renowned AIDS activist
  • Deborah Levine – Executive Director of Love Heals and the President of the National Black Women HIV/AIDS Network
  • Dr. Rowena Johnston – Vice President of Research at AmfAR
  • Charreah Jackson – Lifestyle & Relationship Editor at ESSENCE and our new Red Pump NYC ambassador (whoop whoop)

If you are in NYC, I would love to meet you at this event! You can find all of the details and RSVP information here.

Also, if you would like to stay in the loop on Red Pump happenings and our #RocktheRedPump campaign, check us out on Facebook and/or sign up for our newsletter.

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VOTE for Red Pump in the Inaugural BCG Awards!

My baby, The Red Pump Project, is a finalist for Best Cause Campaign in the Inaugural Black Celebrity Giving Awards. While we’re technically a nonprofit, our call to encourage women to rock red pumps to represent the strength and courage of women affected by HIV/AIDS ramps up every year around National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (March 10th). I don’t know who nominated us but I love what they submitted:

I would like to nominate the fabulous ladies of the Red Pump Project for the Best Cause Campaign Award! As a Chi-town resident, I am very familiar with what these women are doing to encourage other women to take a stand against HIV/AIDS.  As a black woman, we all know that we are the highest target for HIV/AIDS infections so we need to pay attention. My sister and I went to the Red Pump fashion show last year and to see it in person, it made me really want to get involved in HIV/AIDS research and awareness and most importantly get tested. Since the fashion show, I have seen the Red Pump Project on TV and even in ad campaigns around the city. What they are doing for Chicago and all major cities across the US should be recognized, more people need to get involved with Red Pump.

Other award categories include: Celebrity Giver of the Year, BCG Change-Maker of the Year (Community Leader), Best Non-Profit Organization (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West), Best Charity Event of the Year, Best Non-Profit PR and Event Planning Firm, and the Best Giving Circle & Foundation.

I encourage you to head over to the Black Celebrity Giving website to learn more about the nominated organizations and to cast your vote! All votes must be entered by January 16th.

THANK YOU to the entire BCG team for this recognition!!!  And, THANK YOU to whoever nominated us!!!

UPDATE:

To vote for Red Pump, CLICK THIS LINK to view the entries for “Best Cause Campaign.” Then, log in with your Facebook or Twitter account and VOTE!

To view the other finalists, visit this page. You will see several posts representing the various categories. Click the specific award and then vote.

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Help Red Pump Step Out 500 Strong!

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I’ve always supported the fight against AIDS, and ever since I started The Red Pump Project, my desire to prevent HIV has grown immensely, especially among women and girls. Last March, we launched The Red Pump Project on March 10th on the backs of the “Rock the Red Pump” campaign.

The United States recognizes March 10th as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It’s a nationwide initiative to raise awareness about the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women & girls and encourages ladies to take action.

While progress has definitely been made in the areas of AIDS prevention and treatment, women still represent 27% of all new AIDS diagnoses, with African-American women accounting for 66% of that group. This year focuses on this statistic, “Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States.

In observance of this day, The Red Pump Project is asking bloggers to participate in the second annual “Rock the Red Pump” campaign: 500 in 50. Last year, 135 of you took to Twitter, Facebook, and your blogs to help us “Rock the Red Pump” and this year, we’re asking you to do it again! This time, we have a goal of getting 500 blogs to “Rock the Red Pump,” and we have 50 days to do it.

Leading up to March 10th, we’re asking bloggers to “Rock the Red Pump” widget on their sidebars to represent the strength and courage of women fighting HIV or affected by the disease both directly and indirectly. Then on NWGHAAD, we would like you to embed the Red Pump Widget within a post with a short snippet of its significance, including some statistics about HIV and its effect on women and girls.

To participate, please send an email to rocktheredpump@theredpumpproject.com. If you sign up, we will send you instructions, statistics and the HTML code for the widget.

We’ll also link your blog to a post that will run on The Red Pump homepage, Awesomely Luvvie and on here on that day.

If you’re interested in participating in the “Rock the Red Pump” campaign, please send an email to rocktheredpump@theredpumpproject.com. If you’re already “Rocking the Red Pump” on your sidebar, please send us an email anyway. We’ve created a brand new widget for 2010!

While you’re here, take a look at some shots from our Red Pump National Team photoshoot!

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Co-Founders Enjoying a Laugh

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The Entire Team!

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Updates on The Red Pump Project!

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Good news, folks! We now have 65 blogging chicas participating in the inaugural Red Pump Project’s “Rock the Red Pump” campaign! Whoo hoo!!! Also, we’ve launched The Red Pump Project website. Long after March 10th, we want that webpage to be a resource of information and news related to HIV and women.

READ: Introducing The Red Pump Project

Luvvie and I will be partnering with The Chicago Women’s AIDS Project and assisting them with initiatives and awareness programs. To kick things off, we will be hosting a happy hour for them next Tuesday at Plush Restaurant and Lounge (1104 W. Madison) starting at 6:30. If you’re interested in meeting new people (and enjoying 1/2 priced pizza and bottles of wine), then come on out!

Questions on how to get involved with The Red Pump Project? Email us at info@redpump.org!