Ryan White’s Impact on AIDS
When HIV and AIDS were first introduced, the virus was mainly known as a “gay disease. Then, the virus was only known to be spread through sexual contact among gay men. This virus created a potential hype and controversy, in which people who had the virus, were shunned away. Many people believed that those who had HIV or AIDS, deserved to have the disease.
The whole perspective on HIV and AIDS changed around the year 1985. A young man by the name Ryan White, was diagnosed with AIDS, at the young age of 13. The cause of this didn’t come from sexual contact, as it mainly did. It was actually from a treatment that he had received when he was younger. Ryan White had a condition known as Hemophilia. This condition required that he have many regular blood transfusions, to maintain a normal blood clotting system. Before 1992, people who received blood transfusions, received blood that was neither untested nor unscreened. This was due to lack of knowledge and tools, that weren’t around to guarantee, that blood which was donated, was HIV free.
When diagnosed, the Doctors told Ryan that he was in the final stages and only had about six months to live. While thinking about the time that he had left, Ryan told his mother, that he wanted to live a normal life. He wanted to continue going to school, be with his friends and enjoy outside activities. But little did he know that this would be the beginning of a great challenge.
Ryan White’s school and community responded to him with their fear and ignorance. The Superintendent of Ryan’s school refused him to come back. A decision that was made by many teachers and parents, of the community. Ryan and his parents fought back though, and after a few months of not being in school, he was allowed back. While back at school, Ryan was sadly taunted, with many unfounded rumors. Dealing with this, Ryan just stood...