On Wednesday March 10th, I had the pleasure of attending The Red Pump Project’s first ever event here in New York City called “Red Power Conversations”, along with a few ladies from JUG. They partnered with Essence Magazine to put on this amazing event where attendants had the opportunity to hear a passionate panel of activists, advocates and experts discussed HIV, stigma and other issues surrounding the epidemic.


Charreah Jackson ESSENCE Magazine’s Lifestyle & Relationship Editor; Red Pump NYC Ambassador

Debra Bosier Program Director Iris House

Hydeia Broadbent AIDS Activist and Ampro Pro Styl Brand Ambassador

Dr. Rowena Johnston AmfAR’s Vice President of Research

Deborah Levine Executive Director of Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education; Communications Director of the National Black Women’s HIV/AIDS Network.

Lolisa Gibson-Hunte HIV/AIDS Advocate, Activist and Educator


I had a really great time at this event. As soon as we arrived, we grabbed cocktails (juice for me) and munched on some fabulous mini cupcakes while mingling. After about half an hour, we entered the main hall to hear the panelists speak. The moderator and Essence Magazine’s Lifestyle & Relationships Editor, Charreah K. Jackson, did an great job keeping the audience engaged by asking the panelist very thought provoking questions. I learned so many facts about this disease that I didn’t know before. The entire conversation lasted a little over an hour and afterwards we mingled some more. All in all a very fun and educational night!

Here are some facts about HIV/AIDS

  • There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and almost 280,000 are women.
  • 1 in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at some point within their lives.
  • Among those who are HIV positive, 35% of women were tested for HIV late in their illness (diagnosed with AIDS within one year of testing positive).
  • HIV/AIDS is the 5th leading cause of death in women in the United States, ages 25-44.
  • High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women.
  • 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.
  • Teen girls represent 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%.

If you would like to learn more about The Red pump Project, please click here!