The first of December is marked each year as World AIDS Day. This day is set aside to reflect on the impact of HIV/AIDS and memorialize those lives lost to the virus.
This year the Southeast Tennessee Council for HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention, in collaboration with Channels of Love Ministries, Chattanooga CARES, and the Chattanooga Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated will host a World AIDS Day commemoration on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Waterhouse Pavilion in Miller Plaza. Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of Ryan White, will be the keynote speaker.
In December 1984, Jeanne White-Ginder was told that her son Ryan had contracted AIDS following a blood transfusion. At the age of 13, Ryan and his battle to live a normal life gained national attention and he became the face of public education about the disease. Ryan died in April 1990, just days before his high school graduation. Jeanne White-Ginder continued to be an advocate for those affected and infected by HIV.
In 1990, legislation was first enacted as the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act. Today, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is the largest federal legislation program focused on the treatment and care of people living with HIV.
Heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be offered at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will start at 6 p.m. The event is free to the public.