Keri Oberg with a group of children she met during AIDS Walk Africa in Swaziland. (Photo: Keri Oberg)
During the summer of 2008, pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) decided to show its support of EGPAF in a very meaningful way.
In 2000, BI introduced its Viramune® Donation Programme to help meet the needs of HIV-positive pregnant women in developing countries who wish to decrease the risk of transmitting HIV to their babies. EGPAF is the largest beneficiary of this program, and has also received more that $1.5 million from BI to support its work to eradicate pediatric AIDS around the world.
In June 2008, BI partially sponsored the participation of its Associate Director of HIV Community Affairs, Keri Oberg, in EGPAF’s fifth AIDS Walk Africa in Swaziland
. Keri has a special connection to EGPAF, having worked with us since the early days of the Viramune® Donation Programme.
During the five-day walk, Keri was able to speak with EGPAF staff members, representatives from the Swazi Ministry of Health, and mothers and children receiving prevention, care, and treatment services at EGPAF-supported clinics. The experience was especially poignant in Swaziland — a tiny, beautiful country with the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world.
Keri kisses a baby at a health
clinic in Swaziland.
(Photo: Jon Hrusa)
Keri, who lives in Santa Monica, California, was grateful for the opportunity to see EGPAF’s work in the fight against pediatric AIDS firsthand. “In Swaziland, I witnessed the impact that the EGPAF/BI partnership is having,” said Keri. “I also met the real heroes...the mothers who have such courage born out of the love for their children, and the doctors and staff who work tirelessly to provide care to families and children affected by HIV/AIDS. These heroes are making a difference, one mother-infant pair at a time.”
The generosity of valued partners like Boehringer Ingelheim is critical to EGPAF’s success, and Keri’s participation on AIDS Walk Africa was an innovative and exciting way for BI to continue to support our lifesaving work.