Back to Top

Ryan White’s Mom Still Fighting

July 31st, 2014; posted by: WeBleed Staff

Yesterday, the mother of of Ryan White, Jeanne White-Ginder, went before congress to fight for funding for her son’s namesake HIV/AIDS program that provides medical care and other services to poor people living with HIV or AIDS.

Ryan was born a hemophiliac and contracted the AIDS virus through a tainted transfusion of a blood-clotting agent when he was 13 years old.  He was thrust into the national spotlight as an example of how anyone could contract the disease.

“When Ryan was a teenager living with AIDS in the early 1990s there was little the medical community could offer him, but we tried all we could,” commented White-Ginder at yesterday’s press conference. “Today, with proper treatment, thanks to antiretroviral medications, people living with HIV can live relatively healthy lives if they are first tested and linked to and retained in care. I’m in Washington to urge members of Congress to fully fund the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program so the more than half a million people currently being helped by the program continue to receive life-saving care and the ones who are not can take advantage of AIDS treatment.”

Sadly, Ryan passed away in 1990.

His life, sickness, and death have been the subject of books, TV documentaries, and movies.

“I’m sure when Jeanne came to Washington in 1990 to help pass the original program, she never dreamed of its success and its critical importance to people living with HIV and AIDS,” said Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of The AIDS Institute. “Over the years it has changed, as science and the times have progressed. Now we are at a juncture of another change.”

Even though the Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage options there are some states that are not expanding Medicaid – a health insurance program for low-income individuals and families who cannot afford health care costs.

The Ryan White program has often been a safety net payer for those on Medicaid and offers health care, prescription medications and other services helping people with HIV/AIDS to pay for and remain current with their care.

“For almost 25 years, the Program has helped saved countless lives. I am here for Ryan to remind our leaders that we cannot forget him or the 650,000 others who have died of AIDS and the over 1.1 million people currently living with HIV in the U.S. It is my hope that during my visit to Capitol Hill, they will listen to the story of a mother and her son and the hope that people with HIV have today if they have access to the medical care, medications and other services that are offered through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program,” concluded White-Ginder.

Further reading: AIDS Institute Press Release; Biography of Jeanne White-Ginder;

Image Credit: – your source for bleeding news!

Comment Here

Your email address will not be published.


Translate »