Today in the US it is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The ladies at Rock the Red Pump want us to wear our red pumps today as a symbol of solidarity, of boldness and to bring attention to this epidemic. In the US every 47 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with HIV.

The Red Pump Project Now I will be honest, today is Sunday and the first day after the time change. So I am more likely to be in my PJs most of the day, than red pumps. But I will be posting some pix of my  favourite pumps onto the Rock the Red Pump Facebook Page later in the day.

As I entered high school in the early 80s AIDS and HIV were just being identified by the scientific and medical community. There was a lot of misinformation and fear during the years that I was coming of age about this deadly disease. AIDS was a BIG story then. It was like the monster in your closet, that just might sneak up and get you. But I remember receiving information at University, specific to young women, providing us with information on how to prevent the spread of HIV-AIDS. It was some of my first real information on sexually transmitted diseases.

Today many people live for a long time with an HIV positive diagnosis without ever contracting AIDS, and the story has disappeared from the headlines. But HIV-AIDS continues to affect millions around the world. I support this day because I believe we need to be reminded that the best steps to fight HIV/AIDS is through education and awareness.

In Canada about a quarter of new adult HIV cases are among women - US stats are similar.  Half of those Canadian women were under 20 years old. The majority of these women had the disease transmitted through heterosexual sex. source

A couple of year's ago The Globe and Mail wrote a great piece on how Canada's AIDS rates were on the rise. "...number of annual cases of HIV-AIDS in Canada has risen back to 1982 levels, which is when the epidemic began ravaging the gay community."  It speaks to the the growth of the disease within Aboriginal and immigrant communities in Canada. And how frankly, the AIDS strategy in Canada has "withered".

What does this mean to you? Take care of yourself. Speak to your daughters/nieces/granddaughters (and sons/nephews/grandsons). Share HIV-AIDS issues in your social media feeds. And, today, wear a pair of red pumps to show your support.

I wear my red pumps to show that I have not forgotten those we have lost to this disease. And to help prevent more deaths in the future.