Why I Choose to #RockTheRedPump

#Confession: This is the first pair of red shoes that I’ve had in YEARS. I had some snazzy red boots back in the day, but after I hurt my back 5 years ago, I had to get rid of them… with their sexy, fancy 3.5″ heels. *sigh*

So anyway, as you may have noticed as of late, this blog supports The Red Pump Project, an organization (founded & run by black women!) that:

raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. Our mission is to promote HIV prevention through education, and open dialogue about the issues that surround sexual and reproductive health. We do work online and on the ground to motivate action and encourage dialogue about the effects of the disease.

I’m all for that. I could get into all the statistics, like how every 47 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the USA,* or how black women are infected with HIV at a rate more than 15 times higher than that of white women.** However, I’m fully aware that people don’t like reading all that stuff. So I’ll just keep it simple:

I care about HIV/AIDS because I should have been one of those statistics.

As I’ve shared in a previous post, most of my sexual experiences have been unprotected. Why? Because I was too afraid to stick up for myself. Because I had low self-esteem. Because I trusted people who didn’t have my best interest in mind, rather than trusting my own self. I’ve only had a handful of sexual partners, but

~all it takes is one~

Based on the way I handled myself, I should have five or six kids and at least as many diseases. Thankfully, I don’t. I am one of the lucky ones. Never again will I put myself on the line in such a way. I #RockTheRedPump because I want women & girls to know that we deserve to be healthy. We deserve to love ourselves enough & have partners that love us enough – love themselves enough – to use protection and get tested with us regularly. I want women & girls to know that we deserve to be free of HIV/AIDS & that it starts with us.

If you’re in Chicago, I have an extra ticket to the Rock The Red Show, hosted by @KimColes on March 24th, available for $25 (a friend has blessed me with an upgrade, so I’m selling mine.) Contact me if you’d like to purchase it.

Go get tested; know your status. And use condoms.***

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**Centers for Disease Control

***If you’re like me & find that condoms irritate your vagina, try using non-lubricated ones. It turns out the spermicide and lubricants used in pre-treated condoms is pretty horrible on the vajayjay & those of us with sensitive systems have rather pronounced reactions. You may not have rampant yeast infections after all! Trojan is the only company I’ve found that still makes non-lubed condoms. You’ll need a water-based lube with the least amount of crap in it. I use Astroglide X, as I can’t handle the ingredients in the standard version. And every GYN I’ve ever had agrees with me on this: KY is the devil.


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