In the early 1980s, "Starsky & Hutch" star Paul Michael Glaser and his wife Elizabeth were enjoying life as parents to two young children following the end of the hit television series. But the Hollywood couple's life was turned upside down when Elizabeth discovered she had received HIV-tainted blood from a transfusion while giving birth to her first child -- and was not only HIV-positive herself, but had also unknowingly passed the virus along to both her daughter and son.
In this clip from her 1991 sit-down with Oprah for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Elizabeth recalled receiving the devastating diagnosis and the warning she refused to heed. "The most horrible part about it was, within three minutes of the time that our doctor said to us, 'Your daughter is infected and she is diagnosed as having AIDS, your son is infected and you are infected,' he also said, 'Don't tell anyone. Because the world is not ready for your family,'" Elizabeth said.
The Glasers spoke out anyway. In telling Oprah her story, Elizabeth explained the thoughts and feelings she experienced after her family's diagnoses. "Initially, there were two choices: to give up or to go on," she said. "And that's the first thing you face. And for me... I decided to go on."
Elizabeth then turned her attention to her children rather than herself. Though this allowed her to stay strong, when Ariel passed away, Elizabeth crumbled. "After my daughter died, I was alive, but I felt dead for months and months and months," she told Oprah. "And I couldn't change it. Even though I knew that's how I was feeling, I couldn't make it go away."
That's when Elizabeth remembered her conscious choice to go on. "I realized that if I was going to be alive, I'd better make every moment, every day of my life valuable," she said. "Because I don’t have any time to waste."
Determined to move forward, Elizabeth described how she had not given up. "I don't feel that this was a death sentence for me," she said. "I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, and so I have to live today. I can't look to the past because it's very painful, and I can't look to the future because it's very uncertain."
Elizabeth passed away three years after that interview, in 1994. Since then, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has helped virtually eliminate AIDS in children throughout the United States and Europe.
Related On HuffPost:
1. Most Don't Have Their Infection Under Control
Only one quarter of the 1.1 million <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/2012/Stages-of-CareFactSheet-508.pdf">people with HIV</a> have their <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/hiv-under-control-1-in-4_n_1711260.html">condition under control</a>, where "under control" means the virus has been suppressed, according to a report released this summer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Only if we get <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/health/HealthDay667108_20120727_Only_1_in_4_Americans_With_HIV_Has_Virus_Under_Control__CDC.html">everyone under regular care</a> for HIV/AIDS can we recognize the full benefits of treatment and prevention," Irene Hall, an epidemiologist at the CDC and one of the authors of the report, told HealthDay. <em><strong>CORRECTION</strong>: The first sentence has been reworded to more accurately reflect the number of people with HIV.</em>
2. Bone Marrow Transplants Could Play A Part In Being HIV-Free
Two men with HIV and cancer no longer have <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/hiv-free-men-bone-marrow-transplants_n_1707505.html">detectable blood levels of the virus</a> after receiving bone marrow transplants for their cancers, news outlets reported this year. Doctors were unable to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/hiv-free-men-bone-marrow-transplants_n_1707505.html">find any traces of HIV</a> in the men's cells after they received the bone marrow transplants while also being treated with antiretrovirals. The finding "suggests that under the <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/07/26/two-more-patients-hiv-free-after-bone-marrow-transplants/">cover of anti-retroviral therapy</a>, the cells that repopulated the patient's immune system appear to be protected from becoming re-infected with HIV," Dr. Timothy Henrich, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, told ABC News. However, the Boston Globe pointed out that it's still too soon to say that these men have been<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/hiv-free-men-bone-marrow-transplants_n_1707505.html"> full-on <em>cured</em></a> of HIV, since they are still on the anti-retrovirals. There's no firm word on whether they will go off of the medication.
3. No-Cost HIV Treatment Could Cut New Infection Rates
New <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/27/free-hiv-drugs-decrease-infection-bc_n_2200393.html">HIV infection rates</a> can be dramatically lowered by making antiretroviral drugs free, a study from Canadian researchers found. The Canadian Press reported on the study, conducted by B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS researchers, which showed that British Columbia -- a province that offers <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/27/free-hiv-drugs-decrease-infection-bc_n_2200393.html">free access to antiretroviral therapy</a> -- had the lowest rate of new HIV infections over a more-than-10-year period, compared with Ontairio and Quebec.
4. Many Young People Don't Know Their HIV Status
More than half of HIV-infected young people are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/hiv-youths-infected-aids-young-people_n_2198629.html">unaware that they have the virus</a>, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. "Given everything we know about HIV and how to prevent it in 30 years of fighting the disease, it's just unacceptable that young people are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/hiv-youths-infected-aids-young-people_n_2198629.html">becoming infected at such high rates</a>," Reuters reported CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden saying. The report also showed that for young people, 72 percent of the new HIV infections were in men who have sex with men, while almost 50 percent were in young, African-American males, Reuters reported. These figures are based on 2010 data.
5. More People Are Living With HIV Than 10 Years Ago
The number of people <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/hiv-aids-numbers-statistics-worldwide_n_1682936.html">living with HIV</a> has increased by 18 percent from 2001 to 2011, according to a report released this year from the United Nations Programme on AIDS. An estimated 34.2 million people around the world are living with HIV. The report also showed that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/hiv-aids-numbers-statistics-worldwide_n_1682936.html">deaths from AIDS </a>have <em>dropped</em>, from 2.3 million in 2005-2006 to 1.7 million in 2011, Reuters reported.
6. The Cost Of HIV Drugs Is Decreasing
According to the same United Nations report, costs for the cheapest UN-recommended <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/hiv-aids-numbers-statistics-worldwide_n_1682936.html">antiretroviral therapy drugs</a> have also decreased over the past 10 years, Reuters reported. A year's worth of the drugs used to cost $10,000 in 2000 for one person; now, it costs $100 a year.
7. HIV Treatment Truvada Can Also Be Used As A Preventive Measure
The Food and Drug Administration this year officially approved the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/truvada-heterosexuals-aids-hiv-prevention-pill_n_1760542.html">drug Truvada</a> -- which has been used since 2004 as a treatment for HIV -- to be sold as a preventive measure for people who don't have the infection, but are at high risk for it. The FDA said that the pill should be considered for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/truvada-heterosexuals-aids-hiv-prevention-pill_n_1760542.html">preventive use</a> not only by gay or bisexual men who are at high risk for HIV, but also heterosexual men and women who may also face HIV risks, the Associated Press reported. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/truvada-heterosexuals-aids-hiv-prevention-pill_n_1760542.html">Heterosexual men and women</a> make up more than one-fourth of new cases of HIV, and "that's not a portion of the epidemic we want to ignore," the CDC's Dr. Dawn Smith, who was the lead author of the new recommendations, told the Associated Press. The FDA also approved a new drug this year, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/stribild-hiv-treatment-fda_n_1834734.html">Stribild</a>, to treat HIV, Reuters reported.
8. Engineered Stem Cells Could Play A Part In Fighting HIV
In findings published this year in the journal <em>PLoS Pathogens</em>, scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles found that it's possible to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/stem-cell-aids-hiv-study-ucla_n_1428660.html">genetically engineer stem cells</a> to attack living HIV-infected cells in mice. While the study was only for "proof-of-principle," it "lays the groundwork for the potential use of this type of an approach in combating HIV infection in infected individuals, in hopes of eradicating the virus from the body," study researcher Dr. Scott G. Kitchen, an assistant professor of medicine at UCLA, said in a statement.
9. Pretty Much Everyone Should Be Screened For HIV
People should be screened for HIV even if they're not at high risk of contracting the infection, according to draft recommendations released just last month by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendations would mean that everyone between the ages of 15 and 65 should be <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/19/routine-hiv-screening-us-preventive-services-task-force-uspstf_n_2161090.html">screened for HIV</a>, even if they're not at high risk for it, Reuters reported. "The prior recommendations were for screening high-risk adults and adolescents," Dr. Douglas Owens, a member of the USPSTF task force and a Stanford University medical professor, told Reuters. "The current recommendation is for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/19/routine-hiv-screening-us-preventive-services-task-force-uspstf_n_2161090.html">screening everyone</a>, regardless of their risk."
10. People Should Be Treated With Antiretrovirals As Soon As They're Diagnosed WIth HIV
<em>All</em> HIV patients should be <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/23/new-advice-calls-for-putting-all-hiv-patients-on-drug-treatment/">treated immediately with antiretrovirals</a>, according to new guidelines issued this year from a panel of the International Antiviral Society-USA, as reported by <em>TIME</em>. The recommendations are counter to previous guidelines, which said that antiretrovirals should only be used if the CD4 count -- a measure of immune cells in a person's body -- becomes less than 350 cells for every mm3 of blood.
Growing Up with HIV
During the AIDS 2012 conference, Christina Rodriguez talks about growing up with HIV.
Earlier on HuffPost:
David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992)
Wojnarowicz left his home and education at a young age and began living on the streets, hustling and hitchhiking in New York. He used his own personal experiences as well as stories from strangers along the way to build artworks that presented alternate histories from voices of those on the outskirts of society. Wojnarowicz was diagnosed with AIDS in the late 1980s and his work became entwined with political activism. His video piece "Fire in my Belly," a raw and disturbing commentary on AIDS, has repeatedly drawn controversy due to imagery of ants crawling over a crucifix. Its imagery was labelled pornographic by religious leaders in 1989 and again in 2010. Even after his death Wojnarowicz has shown art's powers to provoke, incite controversy and hopefully promote change. Image: David Wojnarowicz, film still from A Fire In My Belly (Film In Progress) and A Fire In My Belly Excerpt, 1986-87. Super 8mm film transferred to video (black and white and color, silent), 13:06 min. and 7:00 min. Courtesy of The Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York and The Fales Library and Special Collections/ New York University
Peter Hujar (1934-1987)
Hujar moved from New Jersey to New York to pursue a career in fashion and advertising, yet his ideas of beauty did not fit the mold. His photographs of people and farm animals were stripped of flashy details allowing a personal connection between subject and viewer to emerge. His collection of black-and-white photographs, called "Portraits in Life and Death," depicts the resilience and spirit of Hujar's circle often in their final moments. Image: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Hujar-Stephen-Sokolowski-Interviews-Lebowitz/dp/093434907X/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340659202&sr=1-11&keywords=peter+hujar" target="_hplink">Amazon</a>
Keith Haring (1958-1990)
Haring was born in Pennsylvania and grew up inspired by the optimistic cartoons of Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney. He moved to New York and became a member of the city's pulsing street art scene alongside Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Haring adorned subway stations with his signature energetic graffiti, kid-friendly yet painfully cool combinations of color and shape. He remained devoted to AIDS activism and public service throughout his life. Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
Barton Lidice Benes (1942-2012)
Benes lived and worked in New York City, creating "museums" out of shadow boxes and little artifacts of everyday life. After Benes tested positive for HIV, he began working with pills, intravenous tubes and even cremated human remains as materials. His raw works faced death unabashedly and were often too disturbing or physically dangerous to be shown in galleries. "Lethal Weapons," for example, was a collection of 30 vessels each filled with a person's HIV-infected blood. After a 25 year battle with AIDS he passed away from kidney failure.
Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1950-1989)
Fani-Kayode, born in Nigeria, fled to the U.K. with his family in the 1960s after a military coup. His artwork has always grappled with the feeling of being an outsider, as a political refugee, a gay man, and an artist in a traditional family. His work recalls Mapplethorpe's homoeroticism while incorporating Nigerian history its traditional perceptions of masculinity. Tribal rituals take on a Baroque strangeness with the repetition of fruit, blood, blindfolds and flesh. The artist also co-founded Autograph ABP (Association of Black Photographers) with Mark Sealy.
Ray Navarro (1964-1990)
Navarro studied art at CalArts before moving to New York to continue his learning at the Whitney. He soon became an activist for ACT UP/ DIVA TV, which stood for "Damned Interfering Video Activist Television." He starred in "Like A Prayer," a work protesting the church's stance on AIDS and contraception. Navarro narrated the event while dressed up as Jesus. Navarro tested positive for AIDS and later lost his vision and hearing. He continued to make art, using his friend Zoe Leonard to function as his eyes. His work continued to spark debate on the complexity of AIDS and its relation to race and class. Image: Still from "Like A Prayer" (1991)
Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989)
Mapplethorpe grew up in a Roman Catholic and Irish neighborhood in Queens. He studied graphic arts at the Pratt institute but dropped out before getting his degree. He lived with punk icon Patti Smith before realizing he was gay; the two remained close friends for the rest of Mapplethorpe's life. Beginning his photographic career working in polaroids, he soon became known for sculpture-sharp black and white prints, mostly of nude men. Mapplethorpe photos feature cropped close-ups of muscles and glowing flesh, at once homoerotic and too matter of fact to be suggestive. In 1989 Mapplethorpe's traveling solo exhibition faced controversy when it was deemed too obscene by one of its host museums, raising questions of authority, censorship and funding in the arts. Mapplethorpe passed away at 42 years old of an AIDS related illness. CREDIT: Lee Black Childers, Redferns / Getty Images UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Robert MAPPLETHORPE (Photo by Leee Black Childers/Redferns)
Herb Ritts (1952-2002)
Ritts was born in Los Angeles, soaking up the city's obsession with beauty and style while helping define it himself. He first became interested in photography while shooting his friend RIchard Gere in front of an old Buick. He later photographed an onslaught of iconic celebrities and even worked on music videos for Madonna and Michael Jackson. His sleek black-and-white photos conjure imagery of ancient Greek perfection. While they are commercially friendly boundaries of gender and race become slippery under the surface of the perfect bodies. Ritts passed away at 50 years old of pneumonia, not HIV/AIDS. Yet <a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/ARTICLE.php?AID=1990" target="_hplink">those close to him believed</a> his immune system was compromised by the disease. Image courtesy of the Getty Center.
Carlos Almaraz (1941-1989)
Almaraz was born in Mexico City and moved to a multicultural neighborhood in Illinois as a young child where he quickly became entranced with the attractive and repulsive properties of art, calling it magical. Almaraz eventually moved to California where he organized Los Four, a group that gained critical attention for the Chicano street arts movement. Teaming up with Cesar Chavez, Almaraz created murals for the United Farm Workers movement. Constantly trying tom balance his individual artistic identity and the community he represented, Almaraz struggled to represent both Hispanic art and his own. Eventually he gained mainstream success with his dreamy images of beaches, highways and other Los Angeles sun-induced hallucinations. Image: Crash in Phthalo Green, 1984, Courtesy of LACMA and Elsa Almaraz
Frank C. Moore (1953-2002)
Moore was born in Manhattan and grew up upstate, serving as class president in high school. After attending Yale he begam working as a set designer for a modern dance choreographer. He soon began painting on his own, taking visual cues from Surrealism yet staying attached to real-life issues involving politics, the environment and AIDS activism. He played a key role in conceiving the overlapping red ribbon as a symbol of AIDS awareness. Image: Frank Moore Patient, 1997-98 oil on canvas on wood panel with red pine frame 49 1/2 x 65 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (125,7 x 166,4 x 8,9 cm) Private collection Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Crawford Barton (1943-1993)
Barton was raised in a fundamentalist community in rural Georgia where he grew up shy and interested in art. He first began exploring the gay scene during his time at art school in Atlanta, where he would photograph the city's bars and clubs. He then moved to San Francisco where he captured the pleasure and pride of the emerging gay movement in the 1960s. He captured many of the icons of openly gay culture for the first time, from Pride parades to cross-dressing to leather garb. Image: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Days-Hope-Crawford-Barton/dp/0854491740" target="_hplink">Amazon</a>
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996)
Gonzalez-Torres was born in Cuba before moving to an orphanage in Madrid. He moved to New York City in 1979 where he became involved in the art scene and postmodern theory. He created quiet but emotionally overwhelming installations often addressing his experience with AIDS. His works, all labeled "Untitled," often used unexpected and replaceable materials like beads, light bulbs and candy. Additionally many of works contain only directions, making each installation only a manifestation of the idea of the piece. Poetically addressing matters both private and public, intimate and universal, Gonzalez-Torres shows that great hope can be found in small places. Image: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, "Untitled" (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. Gift of the Norton Family Foundation. © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. Photo: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY.