#RockTheRedPump to bring Awareness to AIDS & Women.

While I’ve been through a lot of good & bad moments being a woman, something I will never be is a woman of color. Growing up, I thought that was kind of a funny term since I am a color (marshmallow pale skin with splotches of red, showing where the sun has gotten me), yet as I have grown older & experienced more, I have sadly seen what African-American women have gone through for equality. The end of segregation isn’t even at the 100 year mark. We’ve got a long way to go, people.

Another topic we need to keep on the front burner in order to END is the AIDS/HIV epidemic. When an email from BlogHer arrived in my inbox awaring me about #RockTheRedPump day, an AIDS & minority women awareness event founded by Luvvie Ajayi, I knew I had to participate.

Here are some quick facts on AIDS/HIV & why you should be aware:

  • There are currently 1.1 million adults and adolescents in the United States living with HIV.
  • Approximately 1 in 6 people (15.8%) who are infected with HIV do not know that they have been infected.
  • Since 2008, the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States has remained constant around 50,000 per year.
  • New HIV diagnosis was highest among individuals aged 25–34 years (31%), followed by individuals aged 13-24 years (26%)
  • Top ten states with the highest rates HIV/AIDS diagnosis are California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia.


  • A quarter of new HIV infections are amongst 13-24 year olds.
  • Half of young people who are infected with HIV do not know.
  • There are 34,000 young people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States
  • There are 1,000 new HIV cases among youth every month
  • Youths accounted for 25% (12,200) of new HIV infections in 2010. Of these, 57% were among blacks/African Americans, 20% among Hispanics/Latinos, and 20% among whites;
  • 72% of new infections among youths were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact
  • African-American young adults are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for 57% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 13-24 year olds.


  • There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and almost 280,000 are women
  • 1 in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at some point within their life.
  • In 2006, there were 15,000 new HIV infections and 9,801 AIDS cases diagnosed among women.
  • Among those who are HIV positive, 35% of women were tested for HIV late in their illness (diagnosed with AIDS within one year of testing positive).
  • HIV/AIDS is the 5th leading cause of death in women in the United States, ages 25-44.
  • High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women.
The red shoes.
The red shoes.

If there could ever possibly be anything creative & fun about this topic, it is how Luvvie has created a yearly way to bring awareness to women & AIDS. Enter #RockThePumpDay! Luvvie, who is also a member of The BlogHer ’15 Experts Among Us Board, co-founded The Red Pump Project with Karyn Brianne Lee in 2009 to use fashion as a conversation starter to bring awareness to the continuing problem of HIV/AIDS, particularly for women of color. SheKnows and BlogHer are participating in this important conversation, & you’re invited to join in! They want you to share your shoes (or other red fashion accessories) & stories.

Whether AIDS has affected your life, you’re eager to bring notice to the topic or  you simply want to show off your favorite red scarves & shoes, snap a pic or 2 then post to Instagram, Facebook, your web-site, with the hashtag #RockTheRedPump. Since I’m not a pump or heels chick, I chose to snap a pose in my favorite, worn out, very first pair of Converse that happen to be red 🙂

What will you choose to show your support? xo


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