According to the CDC there are approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. and 280,000 are women. That’s why I support The Red Pump Project and their mission to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. What began as a simple idea nine years ago, has grown into a full-fledged campaign that consistently attracts national attention, unites women of all backgrounds and ignites much-needed conversations about HIV.
When I was ten, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a paper about cases of a rare lung infection in 5 young healthy gay men in Los Angeles. It was the first reporting of what is now known as the AIDS epidemic and something that would change the U.S. and the world. I don’t know anyone my age who hasn’t lost someone they know to AIDS. The AIDS epidemic was a profound event in my formative years, yet it is no longer a daily national conversation on television and rarely mentioned today. It should still be a national conversation and it’s organizations like The Red Pump Project® that keeps us informed and educated about this disease.
The Red Pump Project® recently announced the launch of the ninth annual Rock the Red Pump® campaign to commemorate National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD), which is observed annually on March 10. This year’s campaign theme is Know. Act. Rock; #RocktheRedPump is a call-to-action for women and girls to know the facts about HIV, take the appropriate steps (act), and own the decisions that they make regarding their bodies and health (rock).
The premise of the 2017 campaign is simple; Red Pump wants us to stand fiercely in the face of stigma, judgment, and shame and counter those forces with facts, support and sisterhood.
Stand in Support:
- Wear red shoes (pumps, sneakers, or flats) on March 10 and upload photos to social media using the hashtag #RocktheRedPump
- Are you a blogger? Register on the The Red Pump Project’s website for this year’s #RocktheRedPump Campaign on rocktheredpump.org
- Faith based organizations and houses of worship can participate in Red Pump Sunday on March 12
- Post educational statistics to your social networks about HIV
- Share the official campaign button on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter and include the hashtag #RocktheRedPump
“Over the last decade, a lot of progress has been made when you look at the decreasing rates of HIV among women,” says Red Pump co-founder Karyn Lee. “However, we know that our job is not yet done, and each of us has a role to play when it comes to educating ourselves and the women in our lives about ways to prevent HIV as well as strategies to live a healthier life after diagnosis. This is how we begin to eradicate the stigma of this disease.”
Red Pump will also coordinate four events March 10 through March 18 to commemorate NWGHAAD in the following cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Fayetteville, and Washington, D.C. To register for #RocktheRedPump or to learn more about the upcoming events, visit RedPump.org.
About The Red Pump Project®
The Red Pump Project ® is a national non-profit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV on women and girls. We empower, educate, and motivate action by boldly driving conversation online and offline around HIV prevention and issues related to sexual and reproductive health. We use the Red Pump as a symbol of empowerment to represent the strength and courage of women affected by HIV. Red Pump believes that if HIV affects one, it affects us all. We use a powerful symbol for a powerful cause. The incorporation of fashion into the message of HIV prevention is our contribution as we hope to show that Awareness is Always in Style! www.redpump.org.