On October 28, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation celebrated their 30th annual A Time For Heroes Family Festival. Celebrities including Olivia Munn, Ariel Winter, Gilles Marini, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Erin Foster attended the event to show their support.
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation began with just three mothers exchanging ideas around a kitchen table. 30 years later, it is now the leading global nonprofit dedicated to eliminating pediatric HIV and AIDS. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks to end global pediatric HIV/AIDS through prevention and treatment programs, research, and advocacy. Since the foundation began in 1988, there has been a 95 percent decline in new pediatric HIV infections in the U.S., and a nearly 60 percent decline in the number of new infections in children worldwide since the year 2000. At the end of 2015, nearly half of all children already infected with HIV worldwide were being protected from AIDS by receiving effective antiretroviral therapy.
Celebrating its success and promoting the pursuit to grow further, the Elizabeth Glaser foundation held their annual “A Time for Heroes Family Festival”. The festivities kicked off at noon and included a day of fun for both celebrity attendees and Angeleno families alike. Guests enjoyed carnival activities such as hula hooping, life-sized Jenga, a virtual reality booth, painting, DIY cookie decorating, and more. The day was capped off with an upbeat performance by HIV-positive Danish singer, Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn. The Knocturnal attended the event and spoke with Kate Linder.
The Knockturnal: Tell me why it was so important for you to come out here today.
Kate Linder (actress): I have done this event for years. This is one of my very favorite things to do because we’re raising awareness and money for pediatric aids. There’s more and more cases every day but really, we’re on the brink of eradicating it because they have the technology and information to do it. We just need to keep getting the word out and this event helps that. The kids have a great time, the adults have a great time, and I really like that the money gets to the people that need it.
The Knockturnal: What do you think are some of the next steps in order to continue to grow and raise more awareness?
Kate Linder: Well I think we just have to keep putting it out there. With social media now, word spreads really fast so you can really use that for this as well. I mean when you think of back then, when people didn’t even know about AIDS or what it was, and look how far we’ve come. We still have a ways to go, and so we have to keep going.
As of 2017, approximately 1.8 million are children are living with HIV. New HIV infections among children have declined by only 8% since 2016, only 52% of all children living with HIV are getting treatment and 110,000 children died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. Over 400 children are newly infected with HIV every day. The most effective method for preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is by initiating treatment-eligible HIV-positive pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy (ART) as early as possible. Although there is no cure for children already infected with HIV, ART can help children living with HIV lead longer, healthier lives. Unfortunately, most children do not have access to ART.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation strives every day to combat these statistics and help pregnant mothers and children live longer healthier lives. For more information visit www.pedaids.org for how you can help.