Sunday, March 10, 2013

On Red Pumps and Awareness

Happy Sunday!!! 

I'm a huge fan of Awsomely Luuvie's website.  She's smart, HILARIOUS, and has a writing voice that is all her own.  You know when you're reading a Luuvie post.  Well, back in January, she mentioned that she was looking for bloggers to "rock the red pump" to raise awareness about HIV and its effect on women and girls.  Well, here are my pumps in support:
Gosh I love those red tweed slacks! 
HIV/AIDS deserves our attention.  It's not something that happens to "those people."   It's not a "gay" disease.  It's not a disease that "dirty" people get.  We live, work, and worship (yes, worship, saints!) next to those who infected or affected.  I know and love people who are living and thriving while living with HIV.  Living happily and living with HIV are not mutually exclusive.  We must all do our part to raise awareness and keep the issue at the forefront. 

I also visited the Red Pump Project website where there was lots of informative information about HIV in the lives of women.  These statistics are from the Center for Disease Control.  I've added emphasis to those facts that stood out to me. 

HIV/AIDS and women:
  • There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. & almost 280,000 are women
  • In 2006, there were 15,000 new HIV infections and 9,801 AIDS cases diagnosed among women
  • There were 3,784 deaths among women with AIDS in 2006
  • 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
  • According to a CDC study of more than 19,500 patients with HIV in 10 US cities, women were slightly less likely than men to receive prescriptions for the most effective treatments for HIV infection
  • Women with AIDS made up an increasing part of the epidemic. In 1992, women accounted for an estimated 14% of adults and adolescents living with AIDS in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. By the end of 2005, this proportion had grown to 23%
  • From the beginning of the epidemic through 2005, almost 86,000 women have died of AIDS and AIDS-related complications
  • The largest number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses during recent years was for women aged 15–39
  • New York has the highest number of women living with AIDS – 22,532
  • Seven of the 10 states with the highest case rates among women are in the South
  • The rate of women in D.C. infected with HIV/AIDS is nearly 12 times the national average
HIV/AIDS and Women of Color:
HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects minority women in the United States. According to the 2005 census, Black and Latina women represent 24% of all US women combined, but account for 82% of the estimated total of AIDS diagnoses for women in 2005.
HIV/AIDS is the:
  • Leading cause of death for Black women (including African American women) aged 25–34 years.
  • 3rd leading cause of death for Black women aged 35–44 years
  • 4th leading cause of death for Black women aged 45–54 years
  • 4th leading cause of death for Latina women aged 35–44 years
  • The only diseases causing more deaths of women are cancer and heart disease
  • The rate of AIDS diagnosis for Black women was approximately 23 times the rate for white women and 4 times the rate for Latina women
  • In 2006, teen girls represented 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year-olds. Black teens represented 69% of cases reported among 13–19 year-olds; Latino teens represented 19%.
Wow.  I knew some of this, but it's still startling to see it all in print.  Say a prayer today for those who are living and thriving with HIV.  Say a prayer for those who are hurting suffering from illnesses caused by the virus.  Say a prayer for family, friends and love ones whose lives are also affected.  Say a prayer for those who are ignorant and choose to discriminate and discard those who need our love and support. Use your voice to raise awareness! Thank you Red Pump Project for taking on such an awesome endeavor.  

Until next time . . . Go rock your red pumps! 

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