Our History: 30 Years of Impact

30 years ago, the foundation that began as three mothers around a kitchen table in 1988 is now the leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating pediatric HIV and AIDS. Browse this timeline to see how it all begin and the milestones that helped shape the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation of today.

Elizabeth Glaser gives birth to her son, Jake, and unknowingly transmits HIV to him in utero. This same year, HIV is identified as the cause of AIDS. Biomedical researcher Robert Gallo identifies a retrovirus as the probable cause of AIDS. In 1986, the retrovirus will be named human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A blood test is developed to screen for the virus.
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Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Howard Metzenbaum (D- Ohio) host the first Pediatric AIDS Foundation fundraiser: A Night to Unite. The event raises $1 million.
Elizabeth Glaser dies of AIDS-related causes on Dec. 3, and the Pediatric AIDS Foundation is renamed the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) in her memory.
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Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) becomes available with the approval of the first protease inhibitor, leading to dramatic reductions in AIDS-related deaths in the U.S. and other developed countries.
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EGPAF creates the Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Awards (EGSA), and gives the first five to Dr. Richard Koup, Dr. Mike McCune, Dr. Donald Kohn, Dr. Jerry Zack, and Dr. Yves Riviere. The EGSA would become the most prestigious award in HIV/AIDS research and would go on to award a total of 36 scientists/clinicians with more than $24 million dollars in research funding over the next ten years. These individuals would use these awards to leverage more than $250 million dollars in additional research funding.
Nine years after Elizabeth Glaser passes away from AIDS-related illnesses, her vision for pediatric drug research would become a reality, when the U.S. Congress passes the Pediatric Research Equity Act. This new law dramatically increases the number of drugs tested and labeled for use in children.
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During the 2003 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush proposes creation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to make anti-HIV drugs less costly and more widely available to millions of men, women and children in the poorest regions of the world.
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Funded by the CDC, Project HEART aims to help expand antiretroviral therapy to children and families in five countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, and Mozambique. Through Project HEART, more than 1 million individuals will receive HIV care and support, and more than 500,000 individuals will be started on antiretroviral therapy. In addition, more than 2.5 million pregnant women will be tested for HIV— and as a result, more than 66,500 pediatric HIV infections will be averted.
EGPAF helps renew the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which authorizes $48 billion in global health programs.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announces that 1 million babies have been born without HIV because of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a primary EGPAF partner. One quarter of the mothers cited received PMTCT treatment through programs supported by EGPAF.
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GPAF announced that it has reached 20 million women with lifesaving services, such as HIV testing, counseling, and treatment, to prevent HIV-positive women from passing the virus to their babies. This accomplishment marks a significant milestone for EGPAF and the worldwide effort to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
Today, 400 children continue to be born with HIV. EGPAF remains focused on bringing that number to zero. We are working in 17 countries, including those places hardest hit by the HIV pandemic. Through the support of EGPAF, 27.3 million pregnant women have accessed prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) services.
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I want to save my family, but...in order to do that, I have to change the world." Elizabeth Glaser