While new HIV diagnoses among African-American women has declined 42% since 2005, women of color continue to be heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS. Since 2012, The Red Pump Project has hosted Cupcakes and Condoms, a free educational program for women and teen girls that combines desserts and education. In an effort to expand the impact, Red Pump is embarking on a ten-city tour to bring HIV information to communities of women with significant gaps in knowledge and resources. The current selection of cities includes St. Louis, MO; Gulfport, MS; Houston, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Little Rock, AK; New York, NY; New Orleans, LA; Richmond, VA; Miami, FL; and Los Angeles, CA. Details, including the dates and times, can be found on CupcakesandCondoms.org.
“The goal of The Red Pump Project has always been to inspire dialogue around HIV, while making HIV education both accessible and relevant,” says Luvvie Ajayi, Co-Founder and Executive Director. “Cupcakes and Condoms is our sweet spin on an educational townhall, and we look forward to reaching new communities with this program.”
Cupcakes and Condoms give attendees a chance to learn, connect, and to ask questions of health experts in a safe space. Every Cupcakes and Condoms event includes an engaging panel discussion, male and female condom demonstrations, and unfiltered and candid conversations about HIV/STIs.
“Cupcakes and Condoms is a safe space where attendees have the opportunity to ask questions and receive information without stigma or judgment,” notes Karyn Lee, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing and Programs. “We want everyone to leave feeling empowered to either start or continue to make positive choices that aid in the prevention of HIV.”
In partnership with #DoingIt, a social media marketing campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Red Pump will distribute materials about the importance of HIV testing for women of color. In addition, free and confidential HIV testing will be offered in select cities along the tour.
The Red Pump Project raises awareness about the impact of HIV on women and girls and uses the red pump as a symbol of empowerment to represent the strength and courage of women affected by the disease.