Ryan White Remembered

April 8 marks the 28 year anniversary of Ryan White’s death.

Before HIV transmission was well understood, factor 8, a protein important to blood clotting, was often pooled from hundreds of untested blood donations.  This exposed hemophilia patients like Ryan White to HIV; in an article for PBS Newshour, Dr. Howard Markel recalls that “virtually every hemophiliac [he] treated in the mid-1980s has since died from AIDS.”

Ryan White was a teenager living with hemophilia during this time period.  He was diagnosed with HIV in December, 1984, and became an eloquent spokesperson for people living with HIV.  Among other forms of stigma, Ryan White was initially not permitted to attend school after his HIV diagnosis.  After winning a court case to resume in-person attendance at school, Ryan and his family faced intense hostility from community members, and relocated to Cicero, Indiana.

Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage

Homophobia and misinformation about HIV transmission were rampant sources of prejudice against people living with HIV; Ryan White’s advocacy helped dispel some of the misinformation about the nature and transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Months after Ryan White’s death on April 8, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Ryan White CARE Act to help cities, states, and community organizations to develop comprehensive systems of care; the legislation targeted the poorest people living in the United States with HIV/AIDS.

International Conference on Stigma: “Standing Together against Fear, Blame, and Shame”

November 18, 2016
Washington, DC

The overarching goals of this conference are to increase awareness of the stigma of HIV and other health conditions and to explore interventions to eradicate this stigma. The conference also serves to educate healthcare providers and the general public about stigma as both a human rights violation and a major barrier to prevention and treatment of illnesses.

To register for the conference click here.

5th Annual International Conference on Stigma: “Lean on Me! Standing Together for Human Rights in Health”

stigma-1The 5th Annual International Conference on Stigma, “Lean on Me! Standing Together for Human Rights in Health”, will feature keynote speaker Douglas Brooks, MSW, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy at The White House. Plenary Sessions will include information on human rights, health, community programs, and interventions to address stigma.

Friday, November 21, 2014
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Howard University College of Medicine

Register for the conference here.

HIV/AIDS Stigma Talk with James Kiwanuka-Tondo

Kiwanuka-TondoJames Kiwanuka-Tondo, associate professor in the NC State Department of Communication, will give a talk on about HIV/AIDS stigma as part of the Mary Junck Research Colloquium Series

HIV/AIDS Stigma: Discussions from Black Female College Students on the role of religious organizations and health institutions in promoting dialogue and dissipating shame

September 19, 2014 from 3-4 p.m.
Freedom Forum Conference Center
3rd Floor Carroll Hall, UNC-CH Campus

While a lot of research has been done on traditionally thought of high-risk demographics, such as drug users and sex workers, little is known about HIV/AIDS-related stigma and its impact on the black female college population. HIV/AIDS-related stigma is prevalent in society and may prevent individuals from engaging in health information seeking regarding prevention, testing, and care. Our findings indicate that study participants perceived family, religious organizations and health care institutions as significantly impacting the promotion or dissipation of HIV/AIDS stigma. Awareness and understanding of students’ opinions and perceptions about stigma can assist health care personnel and religious leaders in developing prevention programs and services for individuals and their families within this particular group.

Dr. James Kiwanuka-Tondo is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Public Relations curriculum in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University. He is currently a Park Faculty Scholar for the Park Scholars Class of 2016. His main area of research is health communication campaigns with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS. His major contribution has been the development of the first ever quantitative model of relationships between organizational factors, campaign planning, and campaign execution variables. His work on HIV/AIDS has been published in a number of journals. He has been a principal investigator on several research grants and is currently Co-PI on a research project funded by a larger grant from the National Science Foundation with a purpose of developing culturally sensitive HIV/AIDS prevention messages for Black College Female students.