Mother of AIDS victim speaks at Irondequoit Country Club

Updated: 03/07/2014 6:56 PM
Created: 03/07/2014 5:09 AM WHEC.com

It's a story that made national headlines back in the 1980's. A young boy kicked out of school because he had HIV. On Friday morning, the mother of Ryan White was in our area, speaking about her late son.

Jeanne White-Ginder served as the guest speaker at Catholic Charities Community Service’s annual Breakfast with Friends. Her son, Ryan, was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 13. He contracted it through a blood transfusion. He was eventually allowed back into school, but was still forced to use disposable utensils and a separate bathroom from other students.

Ryan passed away before his high school graduation. His mother talked about the experience her entire family went through as Ryan fought the disease.

Jeanne White-Ginder said, "It was very, very hard. The fear and discrimination and panic of the disease, it was a new disease, and people wanted to believe that maybe kissing, tears, sweat and saliva spread AIDS. I think it was just a time when people had to be educated on the disease and we had to learn how you get the disease and how you don't get the disease.”

Ryan White’s name has become part of President Obama’s national AIDS and HIV strategy.

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