NPR’s ‘News and Notes’ Examines Work of Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
NPR's "News and Notes" on Tuesday featured a discussion about the work of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. According to "News and Notes," the foundation supports more than 3,000 clinics in 17 countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.
Pamela Barnes, president and CEO of the foundation, said the organization "only work[s] in a country where we're invited to work there by the ministry of health. ... [W]e don't create new clinics and new hospitals." According to Barnes, the foundation attempts to "train, enhance and build the capacity to be able to deliver" the services provided by health ministry hospitals, which she called the "backbone of the existing system."
Gloria Ruben -- an actress and celebrity ambassador for the foundation -- said that her experience working with the foundation has demonstrated that HIV/AIDS and human rights, particularly women's rights, in the region "are very much intertwined. ... And a big part of that issue is because of the gender inequality and because of the disempowerment that women feel...over their own lives sexually." Ruben added that poverty plays a significant role in the spread of HIV "[b]ecause when there is no hope for any kind of job, or any kind of future, there's this ... hopelessness that can be in communities where poverty is rampant." In addition, stigma is "certainly a part of [the pandemic]" and can be one of many "significant barriers to being able to treat women or to make sure that we can offer services to as many women as possible," Barnes said (Chideya, "News and Notes," NPR, 10/21).