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 have higher rates of new infections and failed viral suppression still while being linked to care.
In 1998, my mother known as “Pumpkin” died from advanced HIV disease complications after knowing and having the untreated illness for at least 8 years. To date, 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 actually have their virus under control. In other words, these women may not seek routine medical care to manage their health. There remains a small percentage of women who are unaware they are HIV positive, and of all the female cases, women of color comprise three-fourths of them. Women continue to be a growing number of new HIV cases in the United States.
SOH, Inc. provides HIV prevention services and promote retention in care for women living with HIV. The agency provides HIV awareness and help empower affected women to self-manage their medical care. PumkpkinSEEDS goal is to eliminate disparities in HIV outcomes for women and reduce the number of new HIV infections. PumpkinSEEDS strategizes with faith and community based organizations for the call to action to achieve the mission for the agency.
Dr. LeShonda Wallace, PhD, FNP-BC
Founder & Executive Director