Inspiration for Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Ariel Glaser is born
If you think a single life can change the world, Ariel Glaser’s brief one would provide a prime example.
On this day in 1981, Ariel was born with HIV, the result of a contaminated blood transfusion her mother Elizabeth Glaser received while giving birth to her. While HIV and AIDS were recognized diseases in the adult population at the time, health care providers were unaware that HIV could be passed to newborn children. There were no drugs on the market that had been tested for use in infants.
Elizabeth Glaser was not raised as a practicing Jew but embraced Judaism when she had children; she felt it important that Ariel have a Jewish name.
In 1988, the year that Ariel died at age 7, Elizabeth Glaser, Susie Zeegen, and Susan DeLaurentis founded the Pediatric AIDS Foundation to raise money for research, prevention, care, and treatment of pediatric HIV, giving hope to children and families affected by HIV and AIDS.
Today, pediatric AIDS has been virtually eliminated in the United States. More than half of HIV-positive pregnant women in underdeveloped countries now receive medicines to help prevent transmission of HIV to their babies — a three-fold increase from just three years earlier. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation continues to fund research, treatment programs, and advocacy on behalf of the 1,000 children around the world who are born with HIV every day.