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25 Years After The CARE Act, Ryan White's Legacy Continues

Ryan White
Gretchen Frazee

Legislation inspired by Kokomo native Ryan White’s fight against HIV and AIDS discrimination recently marked its 25th anniversary. The Ryan White CARE Act has been re-authorized five times and provides funding for communities to combat the diseases.  The CARE Act offers healthcare assistance for those who can't afford or otherwise find treatment.

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly spoke about White’s legacy at the White House Wednesday, saying evidence of Ryan White's legacy can be seen across the country, but especially in Indiana. The state’s been grappling with an HIV outbreak in Scott County, where more than 180 people have tested positive. Most of them contracted the disease from sharing dirty needles.  

Donnelly says White made it easier for communities like Scott County to talk about the disease.

"Ryan’s spirit has helped us through all of this to treat this just with looking at how do we make these people better," Donnelly said. 

White’s mother Jeanne continues her son’s fight to educate people about HIV and AIDS. She recently visited Scott County to speak with high school students and work with the Centers for Disease Control. 

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