MyBrownBaby Is Rocking the Red Pump In Support Of Women and Teens Affected By HIV & AIDS
I’ve been writing a lot about sex here on MyBrownBaby, but not because I have a dirty mind. I mean, I don’t see nothin’ wrong with a little bump and grind. But the sex posts here are tailored toward a much loftier goal: arming MyBrownBaby moms with information, talking points and the cojones every parent needs to help their kids understand and be smart about the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with doing the do. In the past few months, we’ve joined with Planned Parenthood to launch the Let’s Talk About Sex campaign, meant to help parents figure out how to talk to their kids about sex. We’ve chronicled how clueless teenagers are when it comes to birth control, and how dumb we adults are, too, when it comes to using condoms the right way. We’ve lifted our voices about teen dating violence and did our part to hammer rapper Too Short and XXL magazine for teaming together to encourage boys to sexually assault little girls. And we’ve been on the frontlines, too, as women across the land raise our voices in support of sound reproductive health policy, particularly in the face of radical conservative legislation that would upend women’s rights to affordable birth control, abortions and quality reproductive health sans government intervention. This post fits right into MyBrownBaby’s mission: Today, we join hundreds of blogs across the internet as we Rock the Red Pump to raise awareness about the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls.
Statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control tell the story of why we need to speak up about the devastation HIV and AIDS is wreaking on our community—especially as it relates to African American women and teens:
Minority Women and HIV/AIDS
- 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 accounted for 82% of the estimated total of AIDS diagnoses for women in 2005.
- HIV is the leading cause of death for Black women aged 25–34 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%.
Youth and HIV/AIDS
- In 2006, the CDC estimates that almost 46,000 young people, ages 13-24, were living with HIV in the US. Women comprised 28% of these HIV/AIDS cases among 13-24 year-olds.
- African-American young adults are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for 60% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 13-24 year olds in 2006.
What can we do to help change these numbers? We can start by pulling our heads out of the sand and talking—really talking—to our kids about sex. Lack of education, lack of access to birth control and even high rates of sexual violence in communities of color are creating a perfect storm for not only high pregnancy rates, but also higher incidences of women and teens contracting HIV and dying of AIDS.
What, then, do we do? Well for starters, we can tell our politicians to stop distracting us with all the anti-women’s health rights legislation and get serious about empowering women and teens with the information they need to protect themselves. This is why I’m Rocking the Red Pump today here on MyBrownBaby in support of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). Click HERE to see what you can do to HELP women get tested, protect themselves, and, most importantly, empower themselves to make choices about their sexuality that positively impact their lives. This isn’t about politics. It’s about saving lives.
Rock the Red, y’all, and teach our babies (and their mothers!) how to protect themselves.
MyBrownBaby is Rocking the Red Pump as part of National Women/Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, with the hope that this post, and hundreds more spearheaded by Awesomelyluvvie and The Fabulous Giver of The Red Pump Project, encourages women to protect themselves. A great way to do this is to know your status; click HERE to find a low-cost, pain-free testing site near you. You can find out more information, too, by visiting this special page on the United States Health and Human Services website, or checking out local programs today in your area. And to show your support for HIV and AIDS awareness, take a picture of yourself rocking your hottest red shoes and post it on The Red Pump Project pages on Facebook and Twitter.