Posts tagged: 30 Years of HIV/ADIS

30 Years of HIV/AIDS

30 Years of AIDS Logo
30 Years of AIDS Logo


Like an evil crimson beast, absorbing the Light of many, it rages across the land where there are no barriers of gender, race, color, status or age…HIV/AIDS has brought times of bereavement, stigma and incredible fear to people of the world.

I remember my first patient, it was in the later half of 1981…early 1982, there wasn’t even a medical ‘name’ assigned to his condition. The outpatient lab I worked in was shutdown just for him…I was, as was everyone in contact with him, required to wear a gown over my lab coat, two masks, two pairs of gloves and the tables and treatment chairs…the entire area, were covered in blue liquid-proof pads (chux). After he left, the entire room was thoroughly cleaned with industry strength disinfectant. There were no effective treatments and all about this new disease was just completely unknown. It all seemed so inhumane…the disease, ‘cautions’, the separations of personal contact…even family and friends of those infected…the fear…yet it was real and very present in the lives of many people. Thousands of people had began dying from it. It wouldn’t even be given a name until 1982…acquired immune deficiency syndrome: AIDS, and in 1986 it would be renamed: HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)…and in 1985…a blood test to detect the presence of HIV was discovered. Today, more than 60 million people have been infected with HIV, and 2.6 million are newly infected each year and last year alone, an estimated 430,000 babies around the world were born HIV infected! Ignorance, complacency and decreased awareness about HIV/AIDS is one of the main causes for infections.

We began seeing more and more patients with AIDS…and they started coming in from all over the world for treatment and care. In the beginning, there were mostly men but soon after, women…families…with the most innocent of all…children began visiting our clinic. In the early times of HIV/AIDS…most afflicted with this virus died in a year or so from complications. As a Medical Technologist caregiver…it was very difficult to absorb, to witness what my patients, their families, and friends were going through. You cannot help but become ‘involved’ in the emotions of it all, and wanting to help somehow, some way. I was, and have been blessed to have met the most incredible and courageous of people from all walks of life…hope and faith was (is) plentiful even amongst the fear of it all with this evil crimson beast known as HIV/AIDS. I also have been blessed to have worked with some of the most brilliant men and women in the medical field and have been able to volunteer for incredibly lifting and important Foundations in research and fundraising for the elimination of HIV/AIDS.


One of my favorite philanthropic foundations is the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) which was founded in 1988 by an incredible woman who is above and beyond the ‘definition’ of ‘hero’…Elizabeth Glaser. She brought hope and change for children and families around the world with her undaunted, unflagged efforts and achievements in aiding the scientific community in their research for mother-to-child transmission and drug studies for children! She turned an incredible family tragedy into a positive mission, a philosophy and a way of ‘being’ that fits into every aspect of being human and how we can and must live together to unite ourselves as one. Her mission of hope and of being the change that you want to see in the world is of most importance in today’s society, now more than ever. Through research, advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs, the EGPAF has tremendously improved the lives of millions…especially in the preventable area of mother-to-child transmission, an amazing gift and contribution to our world.

One of my favorite quotes of hers:

“If we can share our wisdom, our light, our love in the smallest of way – I know the world will be a better place. If we are not afraid to touch each others lives, hope will be our strength and love our prize.’ Elizabeth Glaser

It’s a philosophy we can all embody is so many ways!
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is a global leader in pediatric research and has received a top rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy and the “Best ” among many other accolades and achievements.

It’s now been 30 years and since then, we have seen remarkable changes since the first symptom appeared (although the first possible recording of AIDS was in 1955!).  It is now a ‘chronic condition’ thanks to the incredible, tireless efforts of the scientific community and their dedication to research, the discovery of a hopeful and helpful gene and the studies where remarkably effective drug cocktails are now available to keep the virus ‘in control.’ Life expectancy is no longer a shortened span, and instead people with HIV are living longer, healthy, productive lives.

There have been recent advances toward a vaccine and new breakthroughs in treatment and prevention of HIV and the discovery and study of the gene CCR5-delta 32 (Delta 32), a gene that creates a code for a protein on the surface of white blood cells which turns off the Delta-32’s ‘receptors, it makes a person resistant or immune to certain viruses because they cannot latch onto the receptors. If you have two parents with this gene, then you are virtually immune to HIV, with one copy of the mutated gene, you would be resistant to it. Gene therapy is a real possibility for the elimination of HIV.

The progress we have made has been tremendous, however, the fight isn’t over yet, and we must not continue to be so complacent about HIV. It is a virus ever present in our world and despite the public health warnings and prevention campaigns, the number of newly infected people each year has remained steady. Awareness, education, especially in the school system and fundraisers for support of research, treatment and caring for those infected, and most notably in under developed countries, is still vitally needed even though the outlook for someone with a newly diagnosed HIV infection is more ‘positive’ than ever before.

Be supportive…volunteer, conduct a fundraiser, …help in making a difference, keeping the awareness about HIV/AIDS in the public eye so that one day soon…we can eradicate HIV/AIDS from the world!

Be the Change YOU want to see in the world!


Estimated Number of Diagnoses of HIV Infection, 2009

Estimated Number of Diagnoses of HIV Infection, 2009
Under 13
Ages 13-14
Ages 15-19
Ages 20-24
Ages 25-29
Ages 30-34
Ages 35-39
Ages 40-44
Ages 45-49
Ages 50-54
Ages 55-59
Ages 60-64
Ages 65 or older

A Few Statistics

HIV can be transmitted in the sexual fluids, blood or breast milk of an infected person. HIV prevention therefore involves a wide range of activities including prevention of mother-to-child transmission, needle exchange programs and the risk can also be reduced, through the correct and consistent use of condoms.

The statistics on HIV is still very real, very present in our society…here are few ‘numbers’ for you from the CDC:

As of December 2009:

More than 25 million people have died from complications of HIV/AIDS.

The number of people living with HIV in the United States: 561,886

The newly diagnosed stats with today’s youth being the highest infected population:


For more information on HIV/AIDS please visit these websites:

In The Absence of Angels – Elizabeth Glaser

Elizabeth Glaser chronicled her experience, her emotions, in an incredible autobiography in 1991, “In the Absence of Angels”. In it she gives a moving, detailed look into her family’s struggle with HIV/AIDS. Please take the time to read it.


In 1981, while giving birth to her daughter, Ariel, she was transfused with several units of blood, all of which were later determined to be contaminated with HIV. Four years later, Ariel developed AIDS from breastfeeding, Elizabeth and her son, Jake, were also infected, only her husband, Paul Michael Glaser remained uninfected.

Elizabeth, sick herself, gives an incredible moving account of Ariel’s illness and death as she lobbied Capitol Hill for funding and pediatric clinical trials of AZT in an effort to save her still-healthy son, Jake and give hope to all HIV infected children in the world.

In The absence of Angels is an incredible journey and an inspirational read of what any ONE can do to make a difference for others!

Available on Ebay

In the Absence of Angels Glaser & Palmer 1991 Hardback In the Absence of Angels Glaser & Palmer 1991 Hardback  

Current Bid: $5.99
No Photo In the Absence of Angels by Elizabeth Glaser, Laura …  

Current Bid: $8.95
No Photo In the Absence of Angels by Elizabeth Glaser, Laura …  

Current Bid: $8.95
In the Absence of Angels by Elizabeth Glaser, Laura ... In the Absence of Angels by Elizabeth Glaser, Laura …  

Current Bid: $2.00

ebay logo

Available at Amazon

by Elizabeth Glaser


Amazon Price: $15.99
List Price: $29.99

Amazon Price: $8.99
List Price: $21.99

Amazon Price: $17.95
List Price: $24.95

Amazon Price: $3.18
List Price: $16.95
Visitors this year

WordPress Themes