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Famous Like Me > Actor > W > Ryan White

Profile of Ryan White on Famous Like Me

Name: Ryan White  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 6th December 1971
Place of Birth: Kokomo, Indiana, USA
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Ryan White, the Indiana teen who became an internationally-known figure for his courageous fight against AIDS and its erroneous perception as a disease against gay men.  White died in April, 1990.

Ryan White (December 6, 1971 - April 8, 1990) was a teenager from Kokomo, Indiana, USA, in the 1980s, who drew national and, eventually, worldwide attention due to his infection with HIV. It has been speculated that the reason White got so much attention was that he was a heterosexual white middle class boy who was not part of any of the regular minority groups stigmatized by the disease.

Ryan became infected with HIV from blood products as part of his treatment for hemophilia. As a result, he was expelled from his school, Western School Corporation, because of the supposed health risk to other students. His situation became a controversial case in North America with AIDS activists lobbying to have him reinstated while attempting to explain to the public that AIDS cannot be transmitted by casual contact. Eventually, Ryan was transferred to Hamilton Heights School District, in neighboring Cicero, Indiana, where he was received as a celebrity by faculty and students who were fully educated into the nature of HIV.

Before he died, he worked to educate people on the nature of HIV and AIDS, to show that it was not a gay disease and that with a few precautions, it was safe to associate with people who were HIV-positive. Being outside the stigmatized "normal" groups allowed him to become a poster boy for HIV infection in North America. Upon his death, his funeral was attended by many celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Sir Elton John.

In 1990, Congress enacted The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, the United States' largest federally funded program (excluding Medicaid and Medicare) for the care of those living with HIV and AIDS. The program has been continuously funded since it began and in 2005 is expected to total approximately $2.2 billion dollars per year. The Ryan White CARE Act provides medical and psychosocial services to those living with HIV/AIDS.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Ryan White