March 2014

New Technology Improves EGPAF’s Work in Africa

Created by:

Yvete Tardiff



In September 2013, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) engaged with Riverbed Technologies, an application performance company, to deploy its Steelhead wide area network (WAN) optimization appliances in our African offices and in many field offices. The Steelhead appliances have helped EGPAF improve its consolidated data center, resulting in increased employee productivity and better allocation of IT resources.  Read the blog post below from Riverbed, describing its work with EGPAF:

This article was originally posted on Riverbed’s blog on March 28, 2014.

With a job that involves daily conversations with Riverbed customers and finding out how they use our products, I’m often struck by the range of benefits our products deliver: increased productivity, cost savings, improved collaboration, more effective disaster preparation, to list just a few.

It’s always nice to hear customers say these things, and it feels good to work for a company whose products deliver such tangible advantages. But from time to time I talk with a customer who’s using Riverbed products in a way that’s heart-warming.

That’s the situation with our customer, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). This remarkable organization was founded by someone who must have been a remarkable woman–Elizabeth Glaser. Elizabeth contracted HIV during a blood transfusion in 1981 while giving birth. She unknowingly passed the virus her daughter, Ariel, through breast milk, and then three years later, to her son, Jake, who contracted HIV in utero.

At the time, the only HIV drugs on the market were for adults. Very little was even known about HIV in children. So in 1988, Elizabeth, along with her two friends, Susie Zeegen and Susan DeLaurentis, founded the Pediatric AIDS Foundation to advocate for pediatric HIV/AIDS research.

Since then, EGPAF has become the leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS. It supports more than 7,300 healthcare sites around the world, and has reached more than18 million women with services to prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies.

In North America and Europe, pediatric HIV has been virtually eliminated.  Pregnant women are routinely screened for HIV and when they test positive, they begin a treatment regimen that protects their babies from contracting the virus.

But this is not yet the case in other parts of the world. Each day, 700 babies become newly infected with HIV, almost all of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. To meet this need, EGPAF works in 13 countries in Africa to support programs to eliminate pediatric HIV and AIDS.  And that’s where Riverbed comes in.

EGPAF relies on its Steelhead appliances to overcome Internet limitations at its remote African sites. Prior to the Steelhead deployment, more than 1,000 workers had to wait a long time to access centralized data and applications. In Swaziland, people would log in to use the performance evaluation system, then complete other assignments while the page loaded.

Now, with WAN optimization, pages are downloaded in seconds rather than minutes, and African staff members have more time to devote to HIV prevention.

“Seconds rather than minutes” is the kind of statistic I’m used to hearing when customers talk about their Steelhead implementations. But when you talk to the folks at EGPAF, and they so clearly make the connection between these time-savings and real children’s lives, which feels really good.

There’s lots more to the Riverbed/EGPAF story. You can read the entire EGPAF case study here

Want to learn more about Riverbed Solutions? Check out these blogs for further reading: