From Our Founder
Thank you for visiting our website. I was compelled to organize this agency after a personal experience and working as a nurse caring for persons affected by HIV since I began my career. I have witnessed the trajectory of this epidemic from a time when patients arrived for end-life care at an all-AIDS skilled nursing facility to now when persons living with HIV have the same life expectancy as those who are not HIV positive and are cared for in the outpatient setting. Despite the triumphs for effective treatment of HIV, certain groups and communities still have higher rates of new infections and failed viral suppression while being linked to care.
In 1998, my mother, known as “Pumpkin,” died from advanced HIV complications after knowing and having the untreated illness for at least eight years. Women comprise at least one-fourth of all people living with HIV in the United States. Less than one-half of the women informed about their HIV status like Pumpkin have their virus under control. In other words, these women may not seek routine medical care to manage their health. A small percentage of women are unaware they are HIV positive; of all the female cases, women of color comprise three-fourths of them.
SEEDS of Healing centers on Black women. Black women with HIV in the south face intersection marginalization of sex, race, and lack of healthcare access due to structural and societal discrimination and stigma. This contributes to poorer health outcomes and continued transmission of HIV. For this reason, SOH provides a community for Black women that are culturally tailored and fosters resilience.
SEEDS of Healing's goal is to eliminate disparities in HIV outcomes for Black women and reduce the number of new HIV infections. SOH strategizes with faith and community-based organizations for the call to action to End the HIV Epidemic.
Dr. LeShonda Wallace, Ph.D., FNP-BC
Founder & Executive Director