In recognition of World AIDS Day, The Red Pump Project is excited to launch “Red Pump Stories”, an initiative created to document the narratives, struggles, and successes of women living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Our new initiative will further the mission of decreasing the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, and allow us to stand with women who have experienced first-hand the impact of this condition. Join us in celebrating the launch of Red Pump Stories, by reading the first profile below. Please comment and share your words of support for the many triumphs of Kecia Johnson.
“I have AIDS and I’m not afraid to say it,” said Kecia Johnson, former music executive turned HIV/AIDS activist.
In the winter of 2006, Johnson, at the age of 22 years old, discovered she was diagnosed with AIDS. Saddened by the truth, Johnson decided to hide her status for two years from her family.
“I was determined to share my story with the world,” said Johnson after making the decision to reveal her status during a speaking engagement at Wheatley High School in Houston. “There’s women and men everywhere in the world who have a story to tell, something to share, and always something to give. In my case, I want to create change and make a difference through HIV and AIDS.”
This is the moment where Johnson saw her story develop into a message. Her connections within the music industry gave her “light” she said, and “a start to something new.” Johnson prospered in working for labels such as Def Jam, So So Def (Promotions) and Slip N Slide Records.
“I wanted to become a national motivational speaker in some way,” said Johnson. “I started my own company, Absolutely Sikning, Inc to help individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other life threatening illnesses find a better way to live a fabulous, healthy and normal life.”
When asked, “Why Do You Rock the Red Pump?” Johnson simply replied, “Red is my favorite color and I wear it all the time. I want to share my love for helping people by sharing my story with the world. Everyone has been chosen for a higher purpose and I want to continuously share my purpose.
Kecia Johnson 5 Guidelines to Living with HIV/AIDS:
- Overcome adversities and life threatening illnesses by encouraging yourself through strength and self-love.
- Give yourself a sense of encouragement and never feel like your days are full of vanity. Take a moment to realize the life you have and empower others going through the same experiences.
- Stand firm and believe in your role in life. Love yourself first and empower others to love themselves despite their illness.
- There’s a basic way to living: Be yourself and learn to trust your decisions. Take pride in your diagnosis and continue living a fulfilling lifestyle from the inside out.
- Protect yourself. You’re in control of your life and protection is available. Be confident in discussing intimacy with your partner.
If you would like to learn more about Johnson, order a copy of her book, Dying to Be D.I.V.A, call the Kecia Kares Helpline to receive advice on various issues such as coping with a new HIV/AIDS diagnosis or depression, or visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.