December 1st is known as World AIDS Day. On this day we look to remember those who have passed away due to the disease as well as raise awareness to end the stigma. In 1988 a movie was made about Ryan White called The Ryan White Story.
Ryan White is an average thirteen year old boy who’s world starts to fall apart when he learns he has AIDS. Even though his mother, sister, and doctors know he poses no threat to his fellow students he still ends up being barred from school. This leads to his mother hiring a lawyer to allow him to go back to school. This is met with opposition from the teachers, parents of students, and lawmakers. Eventually, Ryan finds himself on the front page of the newspaper and the world. All of this pressure causes Ryan to lose hope and stresses him out. However, he is allowed to go to school again once he has won. Sadly, his classmates aren’t as kind to him as they view him as a threat. Luckily, his mother buys a new house so he can go to a new school. When the time comes for him to go to school he worry’s about how the students will look at him. After his mother drops him off he is welcomed by friendly students who know about AIDS and acknowledge that he does not pose a threat to them.
World AIDS Day is a day to honor those who are fighting this disease, ending the stigma, and remembering those who died. In the 1988 film The Ryan White Story we are introduced to the real story of a boy who struggled with the stigma of AIDS.