Ray brothers

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Ricky (January 28, 1977 – December 13, 1992), Robert D (January 27, 1978 – October 20, 2000) and Randy Ray (born June 3, 1979) were three hemophiliac brothers who were diagnosed with HIV in 1986. The media coverage following the 1987 burning of their family home and activism of the Ray family is often considered a signal event in the history of AIDS in the United States.[citation needed]


The sons of Arcadia, Florida natives Louise and Clifford Ray, were the subject of a federal court battle against the DeSoto County School Board to allow the children to attend public school despite their diagnosis. Although the Rays were victorious in their legal battle, the Ray home was burned down a week after the 1987 decision, forcing the family to leave Arcadia.

After the arson of their home, the Ray Family settled in nearby Sarasota. The brothers attended Gocio Elementary School in spite of opposition from groups like Citizens Against AIDS.[1]

Ricky Ray died in 1992 at age 15. Prior to his death, he made headlines by planning to marry his 17-year-old girlfriend, but a judge blocked the wedding because of his age. Robert died in 2000 at age 22 when AIDS claimed him. Shortly thereafter, their father, Clifford Ray, attempted suicide but failed. Randy Ray married in 2001 and lives in Orlando, Florida, and manages his HIV through medication.

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