Presentation Title

The Life and Impact of Ryan White

Presenter Information

Jeanne White-Ginder

Abstract

December 1984 forever altered the lives of Jeanne White-Ginder and her family. At that time, her son, Ryan, was diagnosed with AIDS, having contracted HIV during one of the many blood transfusions he received to treat his hemophilia. Until then, AIDS had been considered by the general public to be a “gay disease,” and Ryan’s fight to lead a normal life and attend school ironically thrust him and Jeanne into the media spotlight. After Ryan passed away in 1990, Jeanne remained a tireless HIV/AIDS activist, testifying in support of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, established just months after Ryan’s death and named in his memory. Jeanne speaks regularly to audiences nationwide about her experiences on the frontlines of the AIDS epidemic in its early years, and the role that HIV/AIDS stigma plays in fueling the epidemic today.

Proposal Summary

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Relevance And Significance

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Session Format

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Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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The Life and Impact of Ryan White

December 1984 forever altered the lives of Jeanne White-Ginder and her family. At that time, her son, Ryan, was diagnosed with AIDS, having contracted HIV during one of the many blood transfusions he received to treat his hemophilia. Until then, AIDS had been considered by the general public to be a “gay disease,” and Ryan’s fight to lead a normal life and attend school ironically thrust him and Jeanne into the media spotlight. After Ryan passed away in 1990, Jeanne remained a tireless HIV/AIDS activist, testifying in support of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, established just months after Ryan’s death and named in his memory. Jeanne speaks regularly to audiences nationwide about her experiences on the frontlines of the AIDS epidemic in its early years, and the role that HIV/AIDS stigma plays in fueling the epidemic today.