AHF Joins The Red Pump Project in Honoring South Side Help Center Founder Betty Smith

The Red Pump Project, a non-profit organization that raises awareness
about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, will present Betty
Smith with the coveted Ultimate Red Pump Rocker Award at their annual
Rock the Red Fashion Show event on Saturday, March 19
th.

Betty Smith is the founder of the South Side Help Center, an
affiliate of AIDS Healthcare Foundation that has provided HIV prevention
and other services to over 400,000 community residents over the last 20
years.

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS
Healthcare Foundation
(AHF), the largest global HIV/AIDS
organization, salutes The Red Pump Project for recognizing South
Side Help Center
(SSHC) founder Betty Smith for her strong
leadership in providing critical services to those affected by HIV/AIDS
on Chicago’s South Side. A respiratory therapist in a local hospital
during the onset of the AIDS epidemic, Ms. Smith saw her community
devastated by the disease: Affected African-American men were dying in
large numbers, and HIV patients were often ignored and treated with
little compassion. Driven by a desire to help her community, Smith
launched the South Side Help Center in 1987. For over 20 years, Smith
helped coordinate collaborative service relationships with more than 30
public and private health and community organizations, with her agency
serving a cumulative 400,000 community residents between 1987 and 2008.
South Side’s services have since expanded beyond HIV/AIDS prevention to
include direct care services and Youth and Capacity Programs that serve
at-risk minorities in the area.

Ms. Smith’s outstanding accomplishments will be recognized and
celebrated this weekend by The
Red Pump Project
, a non-profit organization that empowers women and
girls against HIV/AIDS. Red Pump will present Ms. Smith with its
Ultimate Red Pump Rocker Award during the organization’s 7th
Annual Rock The Red Fashion Show
fundraising event on Saturday,
March 19.

“We’re really excited to honor Miss Betty because her work has had such
a great impact on the community,” said Luvvie Ajayi, Red Pump’s
Executive Director and Co-Founder. “When you think about people whose
work has changed lives, and whose efforts have led the way for many
other organizations, Betty is high on that list. Her impactful legacy
inspires us and we look forward to celebrating her.”

“The Red Pump Project could not have chosen a better award recipient
than Betty Smith,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS
Healthcare Foundation. “Her early and determined leadership on HIV/AIDS
served as a beacon of compassion, care and service in the community and
greatly inspires us to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS. We are proud
to be affiliated with her enduring legacy—the South Side Help Center—as
we honor and celebrate Betty Smith on Saturday.”

AHF announced its partnership with South Side Help Center in February of
last year, following the observation of National Black HIV/AIDS
Awareness Day. The affiliation seeks to expand the delivery of HIV/AIDS
care and services for Chicago’s South Side, especially its deeply
affected African-American communities. A recent press
release
from the Centers for Disease Control projected that about
half of black men who have sex with men (MSM) will be diagnosed with HIV
during their lifetime. For African-American women aged 25-34 years, HIV
is the leading cause of death. AHF, South Side Help Center, and The Red
Pump Project are committed to addressing HIV’s disproportionate impact
on communities of color through comprehensive counseling and testing
services, education and awareness, and the AHF Black AIDS Taskforce, a
talented group of leaders who work to ensure access to care and support
for those impacted by HIV/AIDS.

About SSHC

Since 1987, South Side Help Center has been working to help provide
people with positive and healthy alternatives. Though SSHC was initially
founded with the goal of educating the African-American religious
community so it could be sensitive to the needs of people dying from
HIV/AIDS, our services have evolved beyond HIV prevention to include
direct care services and a comprehensive range of Youth and Capacity
Building programs that serve minorities at greatest risk across the city
of Chicago, State of Illinois and Midwest Region of the United States.
From helping the homeless, to creating and implementing cutting-edge
substance abuse and violence prevention programs, to providing mental
health counseling and HIV education for men, women and youth, SSHC has
been Living Our Mission, Serving People and Strengthening Communities. http://www.southsidehelp.org/

About The Red Pump Project®

The Red Pump Project® is a 501(c)3 federally recognized national
non-profit organization that raises awareness about the impact of
HIV/AIDS on women and girls. We empower, educate, and motivate action by
boldly driving conversation online and offline around HIV prevention and
issues related to sexual and reproductive health. We use the Red Pump as
a symbol of empowerment to represent the strength and courage of women
affected by HIV/AIDS. Red Pump believes that if HIV affects one, it
affects us all. We use a powerful symbol for a powerful cause. The
incorporation of fashion into the message of HIV prevention is our
contribution as we hope to show that Awareness is Always in Style! www.redpump.org.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
600,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, +1.323.308.1833
Senior
Director, Communications
mobile: +1.323.791.5526
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Jacqueline
Burbank, +
1.323.208.1505 mobile
Manager of Sales & Marketing
Jacqueline.burbank@aidshealth.org