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Elizabeth Glaser

Elizabeth Glaser’s fight to save her HIV-positive children led to her creation of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation to save children worldwide from the devastation of AIDS.A schoolteacher in West Hollywood, Glaser became infected with HIV in 1981 due to a blood transfusion during childbirth and passed the disease to her daughter Ariel through breast milk and to her son Jake in utero. The family discovered what had happened in 1985, after Ariel fell ill. Glaser fought to raise awareness of pediatric AIDS and, once the FDA approved AZT as an effective AIDS medication, pushed hard to extend availability of the drug to children. Unfortunately, her efforts were too late to save Ariel, who died in 1988. That year, Glaser founded the Pediatric AIDS Association, which has raised millions for research, prevention, and treatment. Glaser’s advocacy led to profiles on 60 Minutes and in People magazine. In 1992, Glaser spoke out at the Democratic National Convention, criticizing the government’s failure to address the AIDS crisis. Her 1991 book, In the Absence of Angels, was praised for its honest discussion of the devastation of losing a child and the difficulties of mourning in the media spotlight. Glaser lost her battle with AIDS in 1994.

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Date of Birth
November 11, 1947
Date of Death
December 4, 1994

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elizabeth Glaser ." (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/glaser-elizabeth>.

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