Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Presidential Proclamation

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In case you haven't heard, or haven't had the time to check it out yet, on November 25, 2009 President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation for World AIDS Day. Read it below:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 25, 2009
Presidential Proclamation-- World AIDS Day


Our Nation joins the world in celebrating the extraordinary advancements we have made in the battle against HIV and AIDS, and remembering those we have lost. Over the past three decades, brave men and women have fought devastating discrimination, stigma, doubt, and violence as they stood in the face of this deadly disease. Many of them would not be here today, but for the dedication of other persons living with HIV, their loved ones and families, community advocates, and members of the medical profession. On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to developing a national AIDS strategy that will establish the priorities necessary to combat this devastating epidemic at home, and to renewing our leadership role and commitments abroad.

Though we have been witness to incredible progress, our struggle against HIV/AIDS is far from over. With an infection occurring every nine-and-a-half minutes in America, there are more than one million individuals estimated to be living with the disease in our country. Of those currently infected, one in five does not know they have the condition, and the majority of new infections are spread by people who are unaware of their own status. HIV/AIDS does not discriminate as it infiltrates neighborhoods and communities. Americans of any gender, age, ethnicity, income, or sexual orientation can and are contracting the disease.

Globally, there are over 33 million people living with HIV. While millions have died from this disease, the death rate is slowly declining due, in part, to our Nation's global effort through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. However, HIV remains a leading cause of death worldwide. Women and children around the world are particularly vulnerable due to gender inequalities, gaps in access to services, and increases in sexual violence. While the statistics are distressing, new medications and scientific advancements give us reason for hope.

Tackling this disease will take an aggressive, steadfast approach. My Administration is developing a national HIV/AIDS strategy to bolster our response to the domestic epidemic, and a global health initiative that will build on PEPFAR's success. We will develop a strategy to reduce HIV incidence, improve access to care, and help eliminate HIV-related health disparities. We have already ensured that visitors to our shores living with HIV are not marginalized and discriminated against because of their HIV status. We have also secured the continuation of critical HIV/AIDS care and treatment services. Today, we recommit ourselves to building on the accomplishments of the past decades that have dramatically changed the domestic and global HIV/AIDS landscape.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2009, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


The Red Pump Project

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In March 2009, my sister along with a friend, founded The Red Pump Project, an awesome organization, dedicated towards raising awareness on HIV/AIDs. Since its founding, The Red Pump Project has become Nationwide in its efforts to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women & girls and encourages ladies to take action.

I joined the Red Pump Project because the faces of those most affected, look just like me. I joined because apathy is not a cure for AIDS/HIV. When I graduated with a minor in African American Studies and a concentration in Gender Women's Studies, I had in mind a passion to help women of color in areas of health care and education. The Red Pump Project combines the two. While I fully support the search to find a cure, I firmly believe that awareness has to be at the forefront of people's minds. In September I posted an article on The Red Pump Project, entitled The Power of One, explaining why I joined the organization. Go check it out and check out the rest of their blog!

Oh and I don't want to forget: Tomorrow, December 2, 2009 the Red Pump Project, along with their brother organization, The Red Tie Project, will be hosting an event in Chicago. The event details are as follows:

The Red Project Collective (The Red Tie Project and The Red Pump Project) cordially invites you out for an evening of relaxation, socializing, cocktails and fundraising.

In honor of World AIDS Day, The Red Pump Project & The Red Tie Project is hosting "Say RED: Cocktails & Conversation" at Ai Sushi Restaurant & Lounge on December 2 from 6 - 9pm.
Join Karyn (The Fabulous Giver), Luvvie (Awesomely Luvvie), Patrice (Afrobella) and others for an evening of socializing, drinks, and conversation about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Ai Sushi Restaurant & Lounge.

$5 martinis ALL night, $4 sushi until 7pm.

Most importantly, this will be a fundraiser as ALL proceeds will be donated to a local charity to be determined. The event will feature a silent auction, cash bar, and raffle prizes.
Silent Auction Items were donated by:

* Emmy Ward-winning AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton
* MAC Cosmetics
* Pretty Afrika Jewelry
* Blogging While Brown Conference

Bring cash or checks to bid!
SPACE IS LIMITED so please RSVP to secure entry!
There is no admission cost however donations will be greatly appreciated!

World AIDS Day - December 1, 2009

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Today, Black is Breezie is turning Red in commemoration of World AIDS Day. I have been away from blogging for awhile, but today was the perfect day to come back. This will be one of a few posts dedicated to World AIDS Day.

As of today there are over 33 million people across the globe affected with HIV/AIDS. On this 21st anniversary of World AIDS Day we appreciate those who have worked to bring awareness to this disease as well as erase the stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS. Particularly, in this country, HIV/AIDS has been typecasted as a gay disease, a disease of the whoredom, or an African disease. Coupled with the attitudes of invincibility we have been reckless and lackadaisical in taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves. While we live in a society that is over saturated with sex, we fail to adequately warn of the consequences.

The irony of invincibility is that, immortality becomes synonymous with ignorance. As people engage in reckless behavior the reality of HIV/AIDS prevents them from being tested. The stigmas of this disease, the imminent fear of mortality, specifically in the Black community have caused us to ignore the reality that HIV/AIDS is real. When it comes to HIV/AIDS the saying has never been more true: People perish for a lack of knowledge. With the many advances in medicine and science, HIV is NOT a death sentence. What kills us is being afraid of the unknown and holding off on being tested.

Awareness and personal agency go hand in hand. HIV/AIDS is preventable. What are you doing to protect yourself? Men lie about being negative, women lie about being negative, but the statistics don't. Be positive you're NOT positive. Stay safe.
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