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U.S. News

Central Indiana Group Plans History Project on Ryan White

December 30, 2010

The Howard County Historical Society has received a $2,320 grant to conduct an oral history project on the impact of the decision to bar Ryan White from a local school during the AIDS scare of the 1980s. AIDS misperceptions were common when 13-year-old White, a hemophiliac who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion, was told he could not attend Western Middle School near Kokomo in 1984. The state Department of Education eventually ruled that White could attend school and he enrolled in a Hamilton County high school near Indianapolis after the family moved. The case attracted international attention, and White helped combat the idea that HIV/AIDS could be spread through casual contact. He died in 1990 at age 18. "We want people to understand the story from that time period," said Kelly Karickhoff, director of the historical society. The funding from the Howard County Community Foundation will help the society interview 15 to 20 people for the project. Karickhoff said the group wants to talk with school officials, the Kokomo mayor at the time, the White family minister, and White's mother, Jeanne White-Ginder. Other activities being considered for the project include a public event held in conjunction with the launch and a roundtable discussion of the White controversy, said Karickhoff.

Back to other news for December 2010

Adapted from:
Associated Press
12.28.2010; Kokomo Tribune

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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