As World AIDS Day rapidly approaches (December 1, 2012) it is time to think about the impact that AIDS has on children. Did you know that every single day 900 children are infected with HIV? Furthermore, 90% of child infections of HIV are passed on from mother to child.
What is so startling is that 100% of these transmissions from mother to child are preventable with care and treatment for the HIV-postitive mother.
An amazing organization called The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is working hard to end pediatric AIDS and believes that the number of new infections can be reduced to zero. Together with the help of other strong advocates in the global health arena, they are committed to the goal of ending new infections by 2015.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation was founded with one critical mission: “To bring hope to children with HIV and AIDS”. Founded in 1988 after Elizabeth lost her daughter Ariel due to complications from AIDS (Elizabeth Glaser contracted HIV in a blood transfusion in 1981 while giving birth to her daughter, Ariel), the hope of the foundation was to raise awareness, funding and treatment plans for pediatric AIDS. Little was known about the transmission of HIV to infants in the ’80s and Glaser inadvertently transmitted the virus to her daughter through breast milk and her son Jake in utero. Elizabeth, who lost her fight against AIDS in 1994, was an amazing advocate for pediatric AIDS and with the help of two close friends, grew the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) into one of the global leaders in fighting pediatric HIV infection and AIDS. Today her son Jake continues her legacy. To read more of Elizabeth’s story, click here. Get ready to be inspired! There is also a book on her life.
Over the years EGPAF has worked hard to raise awareness and funding for research, education and treatment plans to prevent HIV mother-child transmission. Virtually all HIV mother-child transmissions have been prevented within the United States and Europe, however, it is still a huge problem in poorer parts of the world, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa. Just think. 900 new pediatric infections occur ever day. This number should be and could be zero.
Picture at left is the EGPAF Logo
About the logo:
“In 1988, Ariel Glaser painted how she envisioned the world — as a beautiful garden kept bright with sunshine and surrounded by love. Her inspiration serves as the EGPAF logo, representing hope for children everywhere”.
Imagine a world without pediatric AIDS. A world in which children could grow up happy and healthy and live the childhood they were supposed to have. We can make a difference. We have the research, the knowledge and the tools to end pediatric AIDS. We just need the funding. With cuts to global aid rapidly approaching in Congress, now is the time to make a difference.
How you can help:
- Share this message with your friends, family and followers.
- Contact your member of Congress or government official and express your concern for pediatric AIDS funding.
- Donate: A donation of $30 can provide care and treatment to one mother, for one month. In honor of World AIDS Day this Saturday, give generously by donating to save a child. To donate, click here.
This post was written in response to my work and advocacy with The Global Team of 200: A fabulous group of women bloggers who intend to change the world using their voice.