Four years ago, I attended my first A Time for Heroes carnival in Los Angeles. What started as a special event for Elizabeth Glaser's closest friends and family has over the years become an annual celebration of the work we do to help moms and babies around the world stay healthy, and HIV-free.
Life can be terribly unfair. But there are so many people out there, dozens of whom I heard from today, who are doing something to make the world a better place -- for children, for mothers, and by extension, for all of us.
We are taking a stand -- for ourselves and for the children just like us around the world. Every child deserves an opportunity to grow up, to have a fifth birthday, to have a first kiss, to follow their dreams -- and if they want, to have a family of their own someday.
There is optimism among global health leaders that we are seeing the beginning of the end of AIDS. But we won't get there without the public support that comes from knowing it is within our grasp -- and the political will to make it happen.
There is gathering momentum toward an AIDS-free generation, but it will take increased political leadership and a commitment of resources to turn the tide and prevent us from backsliding on our incredible achievements to date.
I'll never forget the phone call that saved my children's lives. It was a new doctor. She was quick to the point. She said, "Something in your son's blood work warrants an AIDS test. I suggest your whole family be tested."
When you're a kid, a lot of times you feel alone. That feeling is multiplied when you grow up with HIV. But then you find someone who has been through what you've been through, and it makes you feel better.
At the end of the night, everyone was more educated about the cause, and felt inspired to stay involved with the fight against pediatric AIDS. Involvement of this magnitude proves that this community cares.
My participation in the Dance Marathon at UCLA was life-changing. In a room full of American students my age, I was able to see that regardless of where we come from, we are all passionate about saving lives.
A baby is born with HIV every 90 seconds and half of all children with the virus die before age 2. This is simply unacceptable, especially when we have the knowledge and ability for every mother with HIV to have a healthy baby.
The stories and medical realities in some poor African Hospitals today are not so different from my first experiences in the Pediatric AIDS clinics at New York Hospital and Bellevue Hospital in the late 1980s.