Producer's note: We recently welcomed Jake to the LKN studio to participate in a panel discussion about the state of HIV/AIDS in America: how close we are to a cure, the prevailing stigma, and why – when 1.2 million Americans live with HIV – the fight to end the epidemic has lost its steam. Here, Jake offers his path to an AIDS-free future.
By Jake Glaser
What will it take for this generation—my generation—to be the one to end AIDS? Since the epidemic began, we’ve seen groundbreaking research and technology transform the way we treat and prevent HIV. We know how to stop the virus from spreading and we have the tools available today to end it. What we need now is for the global community to rally the resources and political will to make the dream of an AIDS-free future a reality.
Every day, 600 babies become newly infected with HIV. This is unacceptable because it is preventable. We know how to end AIDS in children, and as an ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), I am committed to working with global partners and advocates to create a world where no child has AIDS.
Young people today have a unique opportunity to achieve this goal. We are in a new age, one of 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week connectivity. We are more equipped than ever to educate, empower and inspire generations to join the fight for an AIDS-free future. By using our voices, we can end the stigma and discrimination that many people living with HIV must face every single day. Thanks to the power of digital media, we truly can go where no generation has gone before—we can use our voices to activate a global community to show no shame and no fear of HIV. We can be the ones to end one of the greatest challenges mankind has ever faced. We have the science, technology, and willpower to see it through to the end.
For those who want to be a part of this change, there are a few ways you can start. First, educate yourself using any resources you have: the Internet, your doctor, friends, and family. Second, be a part of the solution and get tested, know your status and take action to not contract the virus or spread it. And third, identify a local or global organization, like EGPAF, that is working to end the epidemic and show your support. You can do this by volunteering, donating, or simply sharing social media posts using the hashtag #GENENDIT to extend our reach and join the next generation on our mission to end HIV/AIDS by the year 2030.
Jake Glaser is a global ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and co-founder of Modern Advocate. To learn more about EGPAF’s fight to end AIDS in children worldwide, visit www.pedaids.org. And check out our full Larry King Now episode on the state of HIV/AIDS in America below.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.