The Red Pump Project’s 8th Annual ROCK The Red Fashion Show!
Did you know that Every 47 minutes a woman tests positive for HIV. More than half of the individuals affected with HIV are women and 50% of those individuals are black women. Know your facts. Know your status.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Red Pump Project’s 8th Annual Rock the Red Fashion Show last Saturday! Let’s just the say the event was phenomenal and made a great impact on my understanding of HIV and its impact on women. It’s crazy how high-risk Black women are when it comes to HIV in our culture. Despite all of the resources, community centers, support groups, and advocates for change that we have in our communities, we still are battling HIV and still have so many people living with the virus. We’ve got to do better ladies and the first step is making the choice to protect ourselves. We all deserve to live healthy, beautiful, and prosperous lives, so let’s do our part by educating ourselves and making healthier decisions so together we can decrease the spread of HIV and tackle this thing once and for all! Know that it can be done!
My girls over at the Red Pump Project, Founders Luvvie Ajayi and Karyn Davis gave us all a wake-up call by not only sharing stats on the HIV virus, but also bringing in an amazing organization to help the audience really understand how HIV works and most importantly, to help impacted individuals understand that love and support are there for them. HIV doesn’t have to be a judgement-based thing where people are afraid of you or fear that just by talking to you, they’ll contract HIV. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is one of the leading nonprofit organizations that actively work to educate us on HIV and AIDS and have positioned themselves to be a cornerstone for support and unity for those impacted by HIV.
One of the key messages that AHF’s Midwest Regional Director, Tracy Jones, mentioned during her remarks at the Rock The Red Fashion Show, is that AHF is “An organization that strives to love and support women of color with HIV and provide resources and education on HIV so that our community can be safe.” Visit www.aidshealth.org for more information about HIV and AIDS research, resources, cutting edge-medicine, and facts.
Let’s Talk about the Myths VS. Facts!
- Is HIV is a death sentence?
– In the 1970’s and 1980’s, people living with HIV had extremely limited treatment options, and often died quickly after they first got sick. Since then, advances in medical treatment have made it possible to live long and well with HIV. There’s even medication that individuals can take to prevent and reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV (PREP).
- Is it true that HIV only affects gay men or drug users?
-HIV is an equal opportunity virus! Meaning that it impacts us all. Newborn babies, women, seniors, teens, and people of all races or nationalities can have HIV. The prevalence of the virus in different groups varies (as it does for other diseases), but the bottom is, HIV can affect anyone. And Ladies, of HIV positive people worldwide, slightly more than half are women.
- Can HIV can be cured?
–Beliefs that HIV can be cured- through specific sex acts or by new medicines- are unfounded. There is no cure for HIV. Antiretroviral therapy can reduce the presence of the virus in the body, but not eliminate it.
- Can HIV be spread through casual contact, through kissing or by mosquitos?
- Contact with the blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk of someone with HIV is necessary to get the virus. HIV is not airborne and cannot be caught by touching skin, sweat or saliva. This means that holding hands, sharing drinking glasses and other casual contact can’t spread HIV. Open-mouthed kissing is likewise extremely low-risk- open sores or blood would need to be present for transmission. Mosquitos do not inject other people’s blood when they bite, and so therefore they cannot spread HIV.
Check out Highlights from the Fashion Show!