Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Rock The Red Pump For National Women/Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
On the heels of International Women's Day, there is a silent storm raging on women in the states. National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is March 10th every year, and with good reason.
In 1985, women composed of 8% of AIDS diagnoses. By 2005, AIDS had afflicted 19,774 women (27%) of all newly-diagnosed cases (The Henry L. Kaiser Family Foundation HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet).
As of 2007, women accounted for 300,000 of the 1.2 million people living with AIDS. What's more disturbing are the ones who don't know they have it, because they have not been tested.
Bloggers Karyn of The Fabulous Giver and Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie are well-heeled foot soldiers in red pumps. They have created The Red Pump Project, an online initiative consisting of bloggers to bring awareness.
Below is my interview with Karyn about the collaboration:
TWHS: Why did you decide to make this your cause?
Karyn: Luvvie has always supported the fight against AIDS, and I have a friend who is currently living with the disease. After we had a conversation about doing "something focused on AIDS and using a red pump," we saw an opportunity to combine those two passions with our social media presence and The Red Pump Project was born.
TWHS: In my experience, bloggers have always been supportive of their sister bloggers' efforts. How has social networking impacted awareness?
Karyn: The blogosphere has been so supportive of our efforts to raise awareness. Last year when we put out the call for bloggers to "Rock the Red Pump" for AIDS awareness, we sent emails to our blogger friends and tweeted the information as well.
Then, they tweeted and re-tweeted, and then others did the same. Within eight days, there were over 100 blogs rocking the red pump on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Even now, we continue to use social networking to host discussions, share HIV statistics, and post original content about why this fight is so important.
TWHS: Where do you see The Red Pump Project in five years?
Karyn: In five years, we see The Red Pump Project will be a national presence, not just online but on the ground via testing drives, educational conferences and events. We also plan to establish a foundation to help fund and support programs being conducted by women, youth and health organizations. There are so many great agencies fighting HIV/AIDS on many levels and we plan to become a partner in their efforts.
TWHS: Aside from everyone adding the Red Pump widget to either a post or within their sidebar, what else can we as women do?
Karyn: Women can continue to talk to their girlfriends, family members, and most importantly, their partners about safe sex and HIV/AIDS. Too long, we've been silent on the issue and that can't happen anymore. When HIV/AIDS infects one of us, it affects all of us.
And, of course, women can continue to rock those red pumps and remind the world that awareness is always in style.