The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington today announces the creation of the Ryan White & William L. Yarber Lecture Series thanks to the generous support of Dr. William L. Yarber, a nationally and internationally recognized faculty member, scholar, and researcher at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. He also serves as the senior director of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP).
The lecture series honors the legacy of Ryan White, the rural Indiana youth who contracted HIV at age 13 from tainted blood products due to hemophilia. Ryan became the national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States after his expulsion from school because of his illness. He died April 8, 1990 – 25 years ago today. In his honor, “The Ryan White Care Act,” the single largest federal program designed for people with HIV in the United States, was created in 1990.
“I’m so thrilled that my son Ryan’s wish to educate about HIV/AIDS and his dedication to showing compassion and understanding to all, lives on through this legacy dedicated in his name. The knowledge and wisdom shared by the invited speakers will be invaluable in preparing the next generation of AIDS/STI prevention specialists as well as updating current health care workers,” noted Mrs. Jeanne White-Ginder, Ryan’s mother. “It was his heartfelt wish to attend Indiana University in Bloomington. I’m very happy he will be remembered in such a way.”
The lecture series is also sponsored by RCAP, which established the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award in 2009 and the Ryan White Legacy Scholarship in 2010. Invited speakers will be honored with the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award.