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HIV/AIDS: How You Can Increase Awareness with Red Shoes

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I don't have much fashion sense. Any resemblance between me and someone who is dressed fashionably is purely coincidental and only present because of the sympathetic efforts of kind friends. I am not fortunate with fashion, but I am fortunate to not have HIV/AIDS. I am mindful of the many women who do, though. There are still surprisingly too many, between 290,000 and 390,000, women in the United States who are living with HIV right now. This is a statistic that the Rock the Red Pump Project aims to decrease ... with footwear.

On March 10th, wear red shoes and see if anyone else does. Doing so marks you as a participant in the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, sponsored by our national government's Office of Women's Health. It is also known as "Rock the Red Pump Day." We've talked about it before because we believe, like founders Karyn "KB" Watkins and Lovette (Luvvie) Ajayi, that:

  • This is largely a preventable disease. Being aware of the causes of HIV/AIDS can help lead to avoidance.
  • Spreading awareness by doing a simple thing like wearing red shoes can make a real difference.

I wouldn't know, but I would guess that red isn't the most common color of shoe. Wearing red footwear is perhaps likely to draw comments that can spark conversations about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and their families. The big push of the Red Pump project is to get as many bloggers blogging about it as possible—at least 2,500 in the 50 days preceding March 10th—to spur awareness around the blogosphere. So if you are fashion-challenged or don't own a pair of red shoes or don't want to be seen wearing red shoes but you do have a blog, you can participate by blogging.

The point is, the spread of HIV/AIDS can be curtailed if there is more discussion about and more access to things like the female condom and post-exposure prophylaxis, and more empowerment of women who may be in imbalanced relationships with infected partners or partners who have multiple sexual partners. If it can be done just by wearing red shoes, I'd consider that an easy way to make a difference...if I owned a pair of red shoes...or could coordinate an outfit to go with them. That might be the hard part.

What are you doing to spread HIV/AIDS awareness?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.


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