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AFL-CIO Now

A Union’s Open Heart Fuels Fight to End Childhood AIDS

Cristina Pena

Check out the AFL-CIO's new In Our Communities website feature, "A Union’s Open Heart Fuels Fight to End Childhood AIDS," here.

In the early 1990s, no research was being done on pediatric AIDS, which was killing thousands of children born with the disease every year in the United States. Cristina Pena, now in college, was among those born with HIV. When she was three, her father died, leaving her and her mother alone, “two peas in a pod,” says Pena.

“Nobody knew how to act around us. Physicians donned masks and full gowns just to speak to us. Aunts and uncles worried about sharing drinks. When my mother inquired about our future, doctors just shrugged, limited our lifespan to five years and admitted they just didn’t know enough.”

Pena and thousands more like her are alive today because of the efforts of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation—and union members at the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Click here to find out more.

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