Indiana University

News Release

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Twenty years after Ryan White: HIV/AIDS education event at IU Bloomington

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Editors: Speakers Jeanne White Ginder, Douglas Kirby and Jill Waibel, M.D., will be available for interviews prior to the HIV/AIDS event on Friday, April 9, in Bloomington. The media availability will be held at 10 a.m. in the Whittenberger Auditorium of Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. Presentations will follow at 11 a.m. at the same location. For more information, contact Cindy Miller, 812-855-1354 and cynmmill@indiana.edu, or Tracy James, 812-855-0084 and traljame@indiana.edu.

WHAT: "AIDS education: 20 years after Ryan White," a commemorative event that both honors Ryan White's influence on AIDS/HIV education and anti-discrimination efforts and offers an update on such efforts in the U.S.
WHO: Speakers are White's mother, Jeanne White Ginder; Jill Waibel, M.D., childhood friend and founder of the IU Dance Marathon; and Douglas Kirby, nationally known AIDS/HIV education expert.
WHEN: Friday, April 9, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with a reception from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Whittenberger Auditorium, in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St., Bloomington. The reception will be in the University Club at the IMU.
AUDIENCE: The event is free and open to the public.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will host a public event honoring the 20th anniversary of Ryan White's death and the profound influence the Indiana teenager had in the area of HIV/AIDS awareness. This event will feature White's mother, Jeanne White Ginder, who has been a tireless and effective spokesperson for AIDS education and the rights of people with HIV/AIDS.

The event, to be held Friday, April 9, is cosponsored by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP) and the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER). The presentations and reception, which begin at 11 a.m. (reception begins at 12:30 p.m.) are free and open to the public.

Ginder and Douglas Kirby, a nationally known expert in the field of adolescent sexuality and adolescent HIV/STD programs, will speak about how awareness of HIV/AIDS has changed since 1990 and the institution of the "Ryan White Care Act." Kirby is the senior research scientist at ETR Associates, a private, not-for-profit center that promotes health education and research at the local, state and national level. For nearly 30 years, he has directed statewide and nationwide studies that include school HIV/STD and sexuality education programs. In addition to noting changes that have occurred, Kirby will discuss elements of programs that are most effective.

Also speaking will be Jill Waibel, M.D., an IU alumna and childhood friend of Ryan White who helped him gain acceptance in the Hamilton Heights School District. Waibel will return to IU, where in 1991 she founded the IU Dance Marathon, now an annual event that raises money for the Riley Hospital for Children. Since its inception, the IU Dance Marathon has raised more than $7 million for children at Riley, and has also helped fund the hospital's Ryan White Infectious Disease Clinic, which takes care of the nation's sickest children.

"This educational event is to commemorate the legacy of our Indiana native son, Ryan White, and to also illustrate how AIDS education has dramatically evolved since Ryan's death," said William L. Yarber, senior director of RCAP. "Each speaker at this event has something insightful and inspiring to say about how Ryan's life, and his death, have influenced a nation and the world."

Ryan White was a rural Indiana 13-year-old when it was discovered that he contracted HIV through tainted blood products given for his hemophilia. During his courageous struggle to live a normal life, White became the national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States after being banned from school because of his illness.

The White family was taunted and ostracized when members of their Central Indiana community learned that Ryan White had HIV. Fearful and uneducated about the emerging disease, parents and teachers organized to encourage school leaders to ban White from school and then fought a lawsuit by the White family that ultimately overturned the ban. Faced by continuing hostilities, the White family moved just 20 miles away and White attended high school, where he was generally accepted. It was here that he met Waibel. Since White's death on April 8, 1990, his mother, Jeanne White Ginder has been a tireless and effective spokesperson for AIDS education and the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS.

Because of Ryan White's story, many have been motivated to be advocates for AIDS awareness, raise money to support research and treatment for AIDS patients, and perpetuate his legacy through their actions.

About the School of HPER and RCAP

IU's School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation encompasses a broad spectrum of academic interests and professional fields. HPER offers nearly 50 undergraduate and advanced degree programs through departments of Applied Health Science, Kinesiology, and Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies. To further its health and wellness initiative, Campus Recreational Sports provides sport and fitness services for the IU community and the public. More information can be found at www.hper.indiana.edu.

The Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, which began operations in March, 1994, is headquartered at IU Bloomington. RCAP is a joint project of IU, University of Colorado, and the University of Kentucky. The major focus of the RCAP is the promotion of HIV/STD prevention in rural America, with the goal of reducing HIV/STD incidence. RCAP is supported, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More information can be found at www.indiana.edu/~aids.

Yarber can be reached at 812-855-7974 and yarber@indiana.edu. For additional information, contact Cindy Miller, at 812-855-1354 and cynmmill@indiana.edu, or Tracy James, at 812-855-0084 and traljame@indiana.edu.


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