(Photo: Georgina Goodwin)
EGPAF President and CEO Charles Lyons
is passionate about and dedicated to the elimination of pediatric AIDS. Here, he shares his thoughts, notes from his extensive travels to countries hardest hit by the pandemic, and inspiring videos and images of the people EGPAF is honored to serve.
The Rights of the Child Living with HIV
January 24, 2013
I recently traveled to Geneva for several reasons: to meet with our Geneva staff, to attend a day-long meeting of the Global Steering Group that is strategically pushing forward on effective implementation of the Global Plan, and to conduct EGPAF’s first-ever briefing of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The UN CRC is charged with monitoring countries’ compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention clearly sets out the obligations governments have regarding protecting and promoting children’s rights, including health rights – and as such, it is very important to EGPAF.
A World AIDS Day in the Democratic Republic of Congo
December 2, 2012
Every December, World AIDS Day provides an important moment to pause and reflect on the progress we’ve made during yet another year fighting the AIDS pandemic. This one ends with great optimism about our ability to achieve an AIDS-free generation, and a reminder of what we still need to do to get there. But as many countries get closer to the goal of elimination of pediatric AIDS, in some ways our job gets harder as we focus our efforts in those countries still facing the most daunting obstacles.
Making a Campaign Commitment to an AIDS-Free Generation
September 24, 2012
The U.S. has a proud record – built by both Democrats and Republicans – of fighting AIDS and related illnesses in children and families around the world. But we must also remember the 70% of children who are not receiving HIV treatment, and the 50% of HIV-positive, pregnant women who are not receiving effective services to prevent their babies from being infected in the first place. We must continue our efforts until every woman and every child is protected against HIV and AIDS and other preventable and treatable illnesses. On behalf of them, let’s demand a campaign promise from our leaders this fall.
HIV epidemic, family planning needs are linked, and demand an integrated approach
July 24, 2012
With the conclusion of the international London Summit on Family Planning earlier this month, the global health community has shifted its focus to the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. It is exciting to see tangible global action around these health issues, and each warrants dedicated focus with political and financial commitments. But having these two separate conferences – on two different continents within two weeks of one another – obscures an important reality: family planning and HIV are inextricably linked, especially for HIV-positive women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.
Another Crossroads in the AIDS Epidemic
June 13, 2012
On the 20th anniversary of Elizabeth Glaser's unforgettable speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, I think about what Elizabeth would say of our progress against this disease, with global HIV programs reaching a scale almost unimaginable twenty years ago. I think she would be proud of the leadership the U.S has shown fighting AIDS around the world. But I also imagine that she would be impatient. When the medicines and means exist to ensure that no mother need pass on the virus to her baby, why are only half of women around the world receiving them? Why are so many children living with HIV not getting tested and receiving lifesaving HIV treatment?
Zimbabwe's Great Leap Toward Preventing HIV in Children (from Huffington Post)
June 1, 2012
Zimbabwe is one of the key countries to watch in the drive to eliminate pediatric AIDS in Africa. I recently attended a ceremony at Harare Central Hospital to launch Zimbabwe's national strategy to prevent new pediatric HIV infections. I joined representatives from government, international partners, donors, health workers and people living with HIV. It was a diverse group, but all dedicated to a common cause -- that no child should be born with HIV -- not in Zimbabwe, nor in any other country.
A Thank You to Mothers for Fighting for an HIV-Free Generation (from Huffington Post)
May 11, 2012
In the global health and development field, no one can dispute the importance of mothers. For the success of our programs, we often depend on the crucial role that mothers play in their families and in their communities. And when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS in children, mothers are absolutely essential.
President's Message: April 2012
April 23, 2012
2012 is a year of change and positive momentum for the Foundation. After eight years of groundbreaking HIV prevention and treatment work in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa through Project HEART, we celebrated the end of that historic program, as well as the launch of three recently-established affiliate organizations. The Foundation has also taken a leadership role in implementing the UN-endorsed Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive (the “Global Plan”). And we have applauded and lent our strong support to the launch of the Business Leadership Council (BLC) for a Generation Born Free of HIV, which will bring needed private sector backing to national and global efforts to eliminate pediatric AIDS.
Joining a Mother's Fight to End AIDS in Children (from Huffington Post)
January 27, 2012
A new ally has joined mothers around the world fighting to ensure that their babies are protected from the ravages of HIV. The Business Leadership Council for a Generation Born Free of HIV officially launched today at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Business Leadership Council is comprised of representatives from diverse industries and countries, but all are committed to the same ambitious goal: ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.
President's Message: December 2011
December 22, 2011
An AIDS-Free Generation. Even a few years ago, such a goal seemed nearly impossible. But today, thanks to greater access to medicines that help prevent HIV transmission from mothers to their babies, and the ability of those who are already infected to lead long, healthy lives with reduced risk of transmitting the virus to others, the momentum toward ending pediatric AIDS is greater than ever.
What Children Can Teach Us About HIV (from Huffington Post)
December 7, 2011
Last week on World AIDS Day -- amid talk about an historic opportunity to create an AIDS-free generation -- we were reminded that the stigma and ignorance surrounding this disease is not necessarily a thing of the past. The news that a 13-year-old boy has been banned from attending a school in Pennsylvania because he is HIV-positive brought back a flood of memories from an earlier and darker time in the history of the AIDS pandemic.
November 12, 2011
Sometimes, in order to be heard, you have to speak up. But for children and mothers around the world who often don't have a voice or a seat at the political table, we need leaders who will speak on their behalf. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did just that in a landmark speech at the National Institutes of Health. She reminded us of some recent successes we've had in the fight against global HIV/AIDS, which have presented the world with an historic opportunity "to change the course of this pandemic and usher in an AIDS-free generation."
President's Message: September 2011
September 30, 2011
The last several months were vitally important to the Foundation’s goal to eliminate pediatric AIDS, which was highlighted in a variety of important venues.
Today’s release of a global plan to eliminate pediatric AIDS is a significant step toward an achievable goal: a generation born free of HIV. We have long had the knowledge and capability to keep HIV-positive mothers healthy and their babies HIV-negative. In fact, PMTCT is one of the best but least recognized success stories in this now three-decade fight against AIDS.
President's Message: June 2011
June 2, 2011
It’s clear that while eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV is an ambitious goal, with committed leadership and decisive action, it is possible. And the proof of that possibility is in the work that we do.
President's Message: March 2011
March 1, 2011
At the Foundation, we take great pride in the effectiveness of our program implementation and its sustainability, and we’ll continue to do our good work around the world. It would, of course, be best to have as much funding as possible in order to continue to enhance and expand our programs. We are working actively to galvanize support around sustained funding for critical prevention, care, and treatment efforts. We’re also working in concert with partners to let Congress know that contemplating cuts to global health funding is simply unacceptable.
The Future of HIV/AIDS in International Development Programs
February 17, 2011
Over the past few years, the U.S. commitment to global HIV and AIDS programs has saved the lives of millions of men, women, and children. However, that support is now in jeopardy. Sustained U.S. investment in these programs, which is critical to their continued success, now remains uncertain. U.S. budget problems are real, but they're not caused by effective global health programs that are saving lives -- and our economic difficulties won't be solved by cutting these programs.
President's Message: January 2011
January 25, 2011
I’ve just returned from a week in Zimbabwe, a country where it is possible that the worldwide momentum toward creating a generation free of HIV will take center stage. Last week, the Foundation officially launched its partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), which awarded us the first year of a five-year, $45 million grant to accelerate scale-up of more effective antiretroviral regimens to reduce HIV transmission from mother to child in Zimbabwe, and to ensure that HIV-positive mothers can access treatment for their own health.
President’s Message: World AIDS Day 2010
December 1, 2010
On this World AIDS Day, we must continue to make elimination a priority—and do more to reach the women, children, and families who most need help. And with your support—on this World AIDS Day and every day—we can. We have the science. We have the momentum. The time to eliminate pediatric AIDS is now.
President's Message: October 2010
October 22, 2010
I’m writing this message after a recent trip to Lesotho – a small country in the middle of South Africa, with the third-highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. Innovation is, and will continue to be, the key to our success there.
President's Message: July 2010
July 14, 2010
As I mark six months as President and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, I can’t help but pause and take stock. For me, what has become incredibly clear over these past few months is that the elimination of pediatric AIDS is possible.
Taking Responsibility, Taking the Test
June 24, 2010
We all have a moral obligation to get tested regularly. Knowing your status is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of HIV. If you are negative, you can learn how to stay negative; if you are positive, you can protect your own health and that of your loved ones.
Father’s Day is Right Around the Corner
June 8, 2010
As a father of two children, and having just celebrated a 25th wedding anniversary, I’m incredibly inspired by what I just saw in Rwanda. The men’s support for their wives and their partners, their willingness to be tested for HIV, the commitment they have to fight AIDS and to support their families – there couldn’t be a better example of what kind of father and husband a man should try to be.
President's Note from the Field: Progress in Rwanda
June 4, 2010
I recently returned from Rwanda, where I saw the country’s incredible strides in fighting pediatric AIDS. Rwanda is approaching universal access to HIV prevention and treatment services for mothers and infants throughout the country. It is one of the leaders among African nations in these efforts, and its example should be studied closely.
Foundation President and CEO Charles Lyons in Rwanda
May 25, 2010
Rwanda’s remarkable progress has demonstrated that with sufficient political will, it is possible to reach more families with prevention interventions and move closer to eliminating pediatric HIV and AIDS altogether. We have an obligation to prevent new infections to infants with proven and inexpensive interventions like prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
Eliminating Pediatric HIV and AIDS in Kenya -- A Holistic Approach
May 20, 2010
As part of his first visit to Africa as the Foundation’s President and CEO, Charles Lyons visited the Foundation’s program in Kenya in February 2010. He and Executive Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs Dr. Nick Hellmann got to see firsthand how the Foundation is working toward the elimination of pediatric HIV and AIDS in Kenya.
Charles Lyons Visits Foundation Programs in South Africa: April 2010
May 9, 2010
Foundation President and CEO Charles Lyons visited the Foundation's South Africa programs for the first time on April 28-29, 2010. During his visit, Mr. Lyons dedicated a new facility at the Foundation-supported Thaba N'chu clinic in South Africa's Free State, and attended the official opening of the Foundation's new country office in Johannesburg.