Awareness is Always in Style!

An Open Letter in Recognition of World AIDS Day

Dear Red Pump Supporters,

Today is World AIDS Day and The Red Pump Project proudly supports the work being done both in the United States and on a global scale to end this epidemic. As an organization raising awareness about the disease’s impact on women and girls, there is no way that we can ignore what is happening worldwide – particularly in developing countries. Too often, we as Americans question why it seems that developing countries garner more attention and funding than domestic programs. We can’t allow ourselves to get caught up in that debate. In the time that we spend arguing, another child is being born to a HIV-positive mother, another young girl is being exposed to unsafe sex practices, and a mother is passing away leaving her HIV-positive children behind.

AIDS ribbon candlesThose women and girls are thousands of miles away but their stories are our stories. We must tell those stories, carry them with us, and use them to fight each and every day. As Dr. King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Here are some Global Facts about HIV/AIDS:

  • More than 370,000 children are infected with HIV each year and the estimated number of children living with HIV increased to 2.5 million.
  • UNAIDS estimates that there were 33.3 million people living with HIV at the end of 2009, a 27% increase over 1999.
  • Women represent 52% of those living with HIV worldwide.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, there were 22.5 million individuals living with HIV/AIDS, representing 68% of the global total.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, the estimated 1.3 million people who died of HIV-related comprised 72% of the global total of 1.8 million deaths attributable to the epidemic.

While these numbers seem daunting, there is actually progress being made due to commitment from global leaders, non-governmental organizations (i.e. UNAIDS, The Global Fund, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and companies and businesses worldwide.

Thank you to all who continue to educate, research, test, treat, and fight. Your work inspires us and hopefully we will soon see the end of AIDS!

Luvvie and Karyn

Co-Founders, The Red Pump Project

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