Crimson Queens initiative 2021
In March 2021 after the celebration of National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day, Thamicha Isaac and a few of her Sister Advocates were discussing a visit to her home island, St. Martin. However, because of their dedication to envisioning a world without HIV/AIDS, they decided to make this trip one with philanthropic efforts to include a mixture of fun, awareness, education and prevention. The brainstorming began regarding the steps they could take to put their advocacy and activism skills to use to raise HIV and AIDS awareness on the island.
Research shares that in 2008 St. Maarten had the highest amount of people living with HIV/AIDS within the Netherlands Antilles. There has not been no update since 2008, we recognize this is a problem and are interested in empowering, educating, and reducing stigma to help change this current reality.
Research tells us that individuals that are viremia (virus in the blood) are particularly vulnerable to developing resistance, opportunistic infections, and are vulnerable to transmitting HIV to their partners. Many of these individuals may not be aware of the vulnerability associated with viremia. Even if they are aware of the vulnerability, they may not feel comfortable or confident in engaging and communicating with their healthcare providers.
Therefore, the SXM Initiative is looking to establish partnerships with community organizations that will engage, educate and equip clients with tools to have these conversations and advocate for their health. No longer is it considered taboo when it comes to talking about the epidemic HIV/AIDS. No longer is it the subject of a whisper conversation. Various community groups, churches and other organizations are openly discussing HIV/AIDS with a focus on prevention. What better way to do that than to showcase four Black Women living and thriving with HIV, using their lived experiences to change the narrative regarding people, particularly Black people and even more specifically Black women, living with HIV?