This week Nick News with Linda Ellerbee did a segment "Forgotten But Not Gone: Kids, HIV and AIDS". This segment is a very touching and candid conversation with children living with HIV and AIDS. Decades after the world was made aware of this pandemic and billions of research dollars later, the sad statistic is that 90% of child infections of HIV are passed on from mother to child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.1 In an era of such fluid and readily available information, even those with regular access to the most advanced of web browsing tools still fear, don’t understand or are simply misinformed about HIV and AIDS. If you did not know already, let me be the first to tell you that people still die from AIDS related complications (weakened immune system) and that children indeed live with, if not a death sentence (kids in developing countries), a life long battle for their health. Taking a dozen pills daily and enduring a plethora of difficult side effects is the common price paid to stay alive.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation’s namesake contracted HIV from a blood transfusion needed due to complications from giving birth to her daughter Ariel in 1981. Later on, the Glaser’s discovered that Ariel contracted HIV from her mother’s breast milk and their son Jake contracted the virus in utero. At the time, drug companies and health agencies were not aware of the prevalence of HIV and AIDS amongst children and no medications were tested or approved for children.
Ariel lost her battle with AIDS in 1988 and her mother Elizabeth, along side friends, blazed a wonderful campaign all the to Washington DC and started a foundation for pediatric AIDS research in hopes that her son and other children would have a fighting chance. Though Elizabeth lost her battle with AIDS in 1994, her young adult son Jake and a foundation dedicated to Pediatric AIDS research survives her.
This Saturday, December 1st is World AIDS Day, a day to honor those who have succumbed to the disease and also work toward an AIDS-free generation. 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 to save a child: https://secure.amothersfight.
Please support the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, as they ensure babies in the developing world are born HIV-free. Please visit their website for facts about the pediatric HIV and AIDS pandemic and for ways you can help save a child's life.