World AIDS Day: Then and Now


Friday, November 15

Free HIV testing from 9:30-11:00 AM and 1:00-3:30 PM

in the University Center Dogwood Room

Come hear the brave story of Jeanne White Ginder

11:30 AM-1:00 PM in the University Center Magnolia Room



Registration for the luncheon is closed.

Speaker bio

One week before Christmas in 1984, Jeanne found out her son Ryan, a hemophiliac, had contracted AIDS from a tainted blood product. Doctors gave Ryan only six months to live. Despite the diagnosis, Ryan remained positive and was determined to live a normal life. He told his mom he wanted to stay in school. However, Ryan was not allowed back in school. During a time when knowledge about HIV/AIDS was limited and fear was high, Jeanne fought hard to give her son what he wanted. Though Ryan was eventually allowed back to school, the two continued to be harassed. Jeanne and Ryan moved, and Ryan flourished in his new environment. In the process, Jeanne was vaulted into the spotlight for trying to do what was best for her son. On Sunday, April 8, 1990, five years after his diagnosis, Ryan died. After his death, Jeanne received over 60,000 letters. The correspondence inspired her to keep fighting to preserve Ryan's legacy of education and compassion. She lobbied for the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Care Act (CARE) bill, which was passed and is ongoing. Jeanne continues to spread Ryan's message around the country, and now she will share her story at Valdosta State. Come out and hear her speak.

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