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Rocking my Red Pump for Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

20130309_223738Every year I sign up for the Rock the Red Pump Project and place the badge on my site (look to your right, you see it!) but I’ve never done the accompanying post to talk about the HIV epidemic. Well, a recent conversation prompted me to do one this year. I don’t know if it will reach the relevant people, I don’t know if people with that mindset are reading this blog, but it’s worth a shot. So my conversation went something like this:

guy: A woman visited my church the other day and I could just tell she had AIDS

me: how do you know she has AIDS

guy: it look like her skin a rotten off

me: so it couldn’t have been a skin disease or something else?

guy: no man, I know the AIDS look by now. I have seen enough of them. You can tell when it gone far.

Is there an AIDS look I’m unaware of? You would have thought he works at a hospital or some kinda place that deals with AIDS patients. I really wanted to smack him in the head. Honestly. I thought it was by now well established that there’s no “AIDS look” and what the person could have been suffering from could have been any number of things. This is how we allow headlines like this to hit the news.

HIV illegal immigrant ‘may have infected more than 400 women’

Now, this story is old but what gets me is “In a string of one-night stands…” I can’t’ understand how people are hooking up with strangers….without protection. It’s bad enough you’re getting your freak on with the bamma you just met in the club, but you’re letting him/her hit raw? EEEWWW! Listen, I am traumatized! I’m not even just scared of AIDS, I don’t want your syphilis  your gonorrhea, your candida, your herpes, there are so many STI/STDs! Even the ones that I can go to the doctor and cure with some anti-biotic, trust me I do not want. Your 5 minutes is not worth that level of grossness. Disgusting. Am I the only one who thinks about these things even in the throes of passion? I’m taking off my bra like “I wonder if this guy’s clean” cause even with protection…maybe I’m just a germaphobe in that regard. I like to keep her pristine, naa mean? Let me share a few facts about HIV/AIDS from the Red Pump website:

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a medical condition caused by the virus after someone’s been infected for awhile. HIV is the virus that we know causes AIDS. It enters the body and infects immune system cells, as well as other cells in the body — causing more copies of the virus to be produced. A person who has been infected with HIV is HIV-positive, but does not necessarily have AIDS.

There are many myths about how HIV is spread. You can’t acquire HIV by drinking from a water fountain, sitting on a toilet seat, hugging or touching an HIV-infected person, or by eating off plates and utensils. However, here are some ways HIV can be transmitted:

  • By way of bodily fluids (blood, semen, and vaginal secretions) during sexual contact. Saliva is not considered a transmission route for HIV.
  • By sharing needles to inject drugs. Infected blood can be exchanged between the parties who are using the same needle and syringe.
  • Through the transfusion of infected blood or blood products
  • HIV-infected woman can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, during delivery, or while breast-feeding

I just want to focus on the fact that there’s no way to tell who’s infected and so we should all be using protection every single time. I can’t imagine going raw with anybody new without knowing, as in seeing on the paper with my own two eyes, what their status is. I want a full blood work report before that rubber comes off, trust me. Back in the day I used to be timid to talk about these things. Of course, there’s a stigma attached and we don’t want a guy to think we’re out here ho’ing around in these streets, talking but HIV tests. But as I get older, I get wiser. And much more vocal about my standards. Dealing with herpes’ genital warts randomly for the rest of my life??? Ain’t NOBODY got time fo dat!!! There ain’t NO PEEN worth that kinda life. NAWL. I’m over here drinking green juices trying to keep my cancer-risk at bay, one episode of throwing my back out is not gonna let me now have to find the money for the ridiculously expensive AIDS treatments.

Anyway, I took the opportunity to play pin-up girl in a dress I would never really wear out my house. Rawr. Me, rocking my red stilletos!

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Michael Antonio sandals and the dress is on sale, hit me up if you’re brave enough! Not to take away from the seriousness of this post but I’m starting a blog hop and I invited a few other bloggers to post on this subject as well. In a few, they will add their posts below, click on over to their blogs to check out their Red Pumps! Irie Blog Hop! Every Wednesday Jamaican bloggers unite to post on a topic I’ll announce and you can hop from blog to blog to see all the different posts! This Wednesday the topic is a high puff, I invite all my Jamaican natural hair bloggers to show off your best high puff and of course if you have relaxed hair and can still rock a fabulous high-puff then join us! I chose a real easy post for our first Wednesday since it’s so short notice.

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7 thoughts on “Rocking my Red Pump for Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

  1. Hi my daughter you know this subject is close to my heart… As I have worked in the field. I too get annoyed that there are some many persons still out there who holds this uneducated opinion even after so much effort has been made to provide the facts.. I have lost some dear people that I came to know and love through my work in the field and none of them would be easily “identifiable” even when they were approaching the moment of crossing over. Thanks for helping to keep the issue alive as there seems to be much more work to be done educating and discussing the real issues

  2. I rocked the red pumps too. 🙂 I bought those pumps for another reason last year, but I love them so much — but to use them during an effort that brings light to a subject that is very important, makes me love ’em even more. It’s been almost 20 years since I first participated and supported AIDS Walk New York (happens each May) — and the fight is not over. One day we’ll hopefully be at zero — or close to it. Thanks for relaying your story. The crazy ignorance, in this day and age, is baffling. I cannot get over it sometimes.

    BTW…girl — not to take away from the seriousness of the post — you and those shoes! Nuff respect from one shoe-a-holic to another! LOL! But I cannot even think about the dress. I’m not so brave. I can barely wear shorts. O_o

  3. I really feel you on this post…really need to join the hop and share some insights from the ‘Jamiacan Mommies’ frontier. Interestingly, my final year communication project was aptly called Ring Alert: Awakening the Minds of Married Women to the threat of HIV/AIDS…Very touchy area I tell ya, but lemme go dig up some notes and get ready to rock the red pumps…albeit a few days late.

  4. You know when I first started working in the field I was surprised that many of the women I worked with were married women who were engaged in what they thought was a monogamous relationship. One woman went to her husband as a virgin.. I need to use this opportunity to reiterate that the danger is not restricted to promiscuous persons.. It just takes one hop outside to bring the dangers in.. Just a reminder to married women. You can take control of your own safety. Just saying we need to take the blinders off and stop with the discrimination, that HIV infected person could just as easily be you or me. All it takes is one adventure, one instance of unprotected sex, one dalliance. Just saying

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