Skip Navigation Bar

Digital Gallery

Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture

You Can’t Get AIDS from…

Open Description

To view the theme description, please enable JavaScript on your browser.

For teenagers only…from Ryan White, 1980s

By 1985, researchers had determined that AIDS could only be spread through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood and semen. Yet Ryan White, an HIV-positive thirteen year old, was banned from attending middle school because of concerns that he could infect fellow students and school employees. White, who had contracted the disease from a blood transfusion, became a national symbol for both people with AIDS and the power of ignorance and hatred. White responded to the vitriol with a consistent claim to fair and just treatment for all people with AIDS. His legacy, in the recently extended Ryan White Care Act, has improved care and support for people with AIDS nationwide.

  • Publisher(s):
    Indiana State Board of Health
  • Type:
Black and white photograph of a teenage boy (Ryan White), looking at the viewer with half his face covered in shadow, White’s signature is included.