Talk:Ryan White

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Featured article Ryan White is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on August 17, 2008.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 18, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
October 20, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
January 30, 2008 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

November 2009[edit]

Apparently, my changes are limited to 20 seconds before they are automatically made. Anyway, a quote from Reagan, much less a boxed, highlighted quote from Reagan is completely antithetical to the lessons of Ryan White as the 'poster boy' for HIV/AIDS, and is, in fact, very insulting. Why not put quotes from Adolph Hitler ca. 1934-1936 where he describes his 'concern' for the Jews on the page of Anne Frank? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

You're missing the point entirely. The article itself outlines how Reagan's stance on AIDS changed, largely in part to Ryan White's involvement. It also details how White spoke in front of Reagan's AIDS Commission, co-hosted the after-Oscars party with the Reagans and spent time with them. More specifically in the article, it says "On the day of the funeral, former president Reagan—who had been widely criticized] for failing to mention AIDS in any speeches until 1987 although he had spoken on the issue in press conferences beginning in 1985—wrote a tribute to White that appeared in The Washington Post. Reagan's statement about AIDS and White's funeral were seen as indicators of how greatly White had helped change perceptions of AIDS."
Were seen as indicators of how greatly White had helped change perceptions of AIDS. The quote is not only proper, it would be remiss to omit it. Four months after White's death, The Ryan White Care Act was signed. There is no greater indicator of the effect Ryan White had than to detail how, in a matter of a handful of years, he changed the viewpoint of even the President who at one point, would not speak in public about AIDS. Sorry, dude, you're simply wrong. Wildhartlivie (talk) 12:15, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Broken Link[edit]

The website is no longer in service. I highly suggest that all of the links, and references be removed that forward to this website. Please leave your thoughts. -- RttamTNC 01:10, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Actually, that's quite premature. In the past, there have been times when the site has not been available online and has displayed as it does right now, and has come back online. There are a lot of reasons why that might happen and it has been our practice on this page to leave the url in hidden text in anticipation of the possible or probable return of the site. It was still active as of Saturday when it was last cached by Google. There is no mandate to take this out so quickly. The article is well watched by those of us who worked on it to attain its featured article status. If it becomes apparent that the website is not being moved to a new server or host or is just not coming back, then it will be removed as hidden text. There is also time to wait before searching out a different source for his birthdate. There is only one actual link or reference actively being used from the site. Wildhartlivie (talk) 02:16, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
It looks like the domain registration lapsed and got swallowed by a cyber squatter. Let's give it some time to see if they get it back. The timeline is still available on the Internet Archive[1]. In a worst-case scenario I believe it's possible to reconstruct most of this from the associated press stories although I don't have on-demand access to their archives anymore. --JayHenry (talk) 02:51, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
So sayeth the person who really worked it up to featured status. I more or less just babysit. The only real thing that is cited from the website is the timeline/birth date. Hi there, JayHenry. Wildhartlivie (talk) 03:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi Wildhart! Thanks for watching the page so closely so I can spend my time zoned out! Do you happen to know if there's a guideline somewhere about citing InternetArchive version of pages? I made a New Years Resolution in 2009 to never again look at the Manual of Style and so far I've successfully made it 11 months... I thought I had cited some other stuff from, but I guess not. I might just make a note that "the original site is currently down, but a copy is available at InternetArchive" unless someone can find evidence of the proper way to do it. --JayHenry (talk) 03:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
It's not so much a guideline as just additions to the already existing citation template. There's a citation generator tool here, but to make it easy on you (me?), use this: <ref>{{cite web |url= |title=A Timeline of Key Events in Ryan's Life |accessdate=2009-12-02 | |archiveurl= |archivedate=2007-10-12}}</ref> and for the homepage, {{cite web |url= |title=Ryan White |accessdate=2009-12-02 | |archiveurl= |archivedate=2007-10-12}} can be used. Wildhartlivie (talk) 04:21, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah interesting! I didn't know about those parameters. I guess that's probably the best solution, right? --JayHenry (talk) 05:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
It's the best solution, and it makes this matter resolved! Wildhartlivie (talk) 09:25, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

'Gay' vs 'homosexual'[edit]

"Homosexual" is a clinical term, "gay" is a social term. There are gay communities, but not homosexual communities. Modern style guides also recommend "gay" over "homosexual" as a noun. From the "homosexuality" entry:

Many modern style guides in the U.S. recommend against using homosexual as a noun, instead using gay man or lesbian.[22] Similarly, some recommend completely avoiding usage of homosexual as it has a negative, clinical history and because the word only refers to one's sexual behavior (as opposed to romantic feelings) and thus it has a negative connotation.[22] Gay and lesbian are the most common alternatives.

I therefore suggest the changes seen here: [2]. (talk) 20:29, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Except content in this article is based on citations, some of which rely on clinical sources, all of which say "homosexual". This isn't a page for crusading for political correctness. As for your quote, the spread of AIDS in that community was based on sexual behavior, not romantic feelings. AIDS was never spread by loving someone, only by having sex with them. Wildhartlivie (talk) 11:44, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I do not suggest that any of the historical quotations be changed. I also agree that the adjective "homosexual" is a clinical term appropriate for clinical applications. But in the modern use of the term by Wikipedia authors, "homosexual" should not be used as a noun to refer to individuals. If Wikipedia's entry on homosexuality is not sufficient, Wikipedia's own style manual should help to clarify. Under "identity," it states: "Avoid the use of certain adjectives as nouns: for example, use black people rather than blacks, gay people rather than gays, disabled people rather than the disabled." Surely, if the style manual does not even allow "gay" as a noun (a rule to which an exception is generally made for the phrase "gays and lesbians"), then the more antiquated use of "homosexual" as a noun should be avoided as well. As for communities being "homosexual," they are such only when referring clinically to a community of biological organisms. When referring to people who interact socially and have an identity, the social term "gay" is more appropriate. Yes, HIV spread in the gay community through homosexual intercourse, but the community does not need to be renamed to something more explicitly sexual because of that. The community entry may be helpful in distinguishing between biological and sociological communities. (talk) 08:19, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
As I said, the use of the term here is supported by sources, and it is not about sociological terminology, identity or political correctness. It is about following the sources and sourcing the use. This is about an disease effecting a specific population from behavioral, not political, causes and is not being renamed. At the time of the events in this article, homosexual was the term in use and is rightly used here. No one from LGBT projects have ever objected to the use here. Wildhartlivie (talk) 08:49, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I do agree that "homosexual" was used at the time and is still used in a clinical sense in clinical literature today. When directly quoting those sources, I would argue for the use of "homosexual." But when modern authors are writing about the subject in Wikipedia, those authors should use modern terminology. For example, the Negro league baseball article states:

"The Negro leagues were American professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues....

The term "African American" did not exist in the time of the Negro leagues, but it does exist in the time of Wikipedia. So when referring to the proper title of the leagues, which was defined in the past, we use "Negro," but when current-day Wikipedians write words of their own authorship, they use words of the present: "African American" and "black." Also, a note on "political correctness": this term is primarily used today to disparage what is seen as a fear of offending others. But calling people by the names they wish to be called is not necessarily evidence of fear. It may instead be evidence of respect. (talk) 08:11, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I would add that "gay" wasn't exactly a foreign term at the time, either. The original name for AIDS was "Gay-Related Immune Disease," and Ryan White's own mother, as quoted in the article, used the term "gay community." (talk) 08:28, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Look, I'm not going to come in here night after night to respond to this. You really aren't comparing the use of the term "negro" to that of "homosexual"? Sincerely? They also used to use the words "fags" and "queers" but you won't find that in this article. As I said, this article passed featured article easily using this terminology. No one, even reviewers connected with LGBT projects objected. No one else has objected like this. We are talking about clinical behavior in a specific community. The FA reviewers had no issue with it, no one else has an issue with it. Wildhartlivie (talk) 10:29, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I do understand that continually engaging on this topic is tiresome, and I do apologize, but I'll still respond to your points. 1) Yes, I do sincerely believe that both "negro" and "homosexual" are outdated terms that carry significant negative connotations. For evidence of those negative connotations, see this recent CBS poll[3] that found that support for gay rights drops considerably when the word "gay" is simply replaced with "homosexual." And if middle America recoils at the word "homosexual," I suspect gay America does more so. 2) Yes, "queer" is used in this article, and I support it, because it's quoting words used at the time. It would be historical revisionism to change a direct quote. 3) Featured article status does not preclude improvement. 4) Good point, and so I've asked the LGBT project members what they think. 5) I'll adjust my argument a bit here. We are not talking about clinical behavior, and neither is anything quoted as using "homosexual" in this article. The clinical sexual behavior that causes the spread of HIV is not homosexual behavior but is, instead, unprotected anal and vaginal intercourse. Of course, Ryan White taught us that AIDS isn't a gay disease (nor a strictly sexual one). And, further, you can have all the homosexual sex you'd like without getting HIV as long as it isn't unprotected anal. But not even the most clinically-minded person would speak of unprotected anal communities. To test whether an instance of "homosexual" is referring to a person or to a biological function, see if replacing "homosexual" with "gay sexual" results in something you've ever heard of. "Homosexual activity" and "homosexual behavior" easily become "gay sexual activity" and "gay sexual behavior." But a search for "gay sexual community" results in fewer than a dozen Google hits, half of which are pornographic. But like I said, I know this is a tiresome discussion, so I've asked the LGBT project members what they think. If you can think of an even better third party to refer questions to, let me know. (talk) 13:33, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm someone else, and I have an issue with it. Three points, as briefly as I can: (1) FA status isn't indicative of perfection, nor should it be used as an excuse for not improving the article. (2) The word homosexual when used as a noun is indeed widely considered offensive (and perhaps similarly anachronistic as Negro, although speculation on that point is rather beside the point). Its use is deprecated in various major reference works, such as dictionaries and style guides. While homosexual functions grammatically as an adjective in the phrase "homosexual community", it is arguably still doing the work of a noun in that context since the phrase arguably refers to a "community of homosexuals" [sic]. At best, it isn't a case of an adjective being applied to a whole group (e.g., a "large community" or a "cohesive community") but rather to its individual members. (3) The word population could be substituted for community. This wouldn't be a perfect fix, but it would sound fully "clinical" (to use your word) rather than juxtaposing a clinical term with a word like community, which has cultural connotations. Rivertorch (talk) 13:39, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm another someone else - and a part of the gay community - and I have an issue with it as well. I totally agree that the use of "homosexual" is clinical and except for instances where clinical terms in this article are appropriate, "gay" should be used instead. --SkagitRiverQueen (talk) 22:08, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've asked someone else to look at this. Not gonna spend more time on this, except to say don't be disingenuous here, yes, the word "queer" is used - in an example of a harassing taunt thrown at White. Surely you didn't think I meant use it as a positive word?? Wildhartlivie (talk) 19:18, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Is it only in the lead that this is an issue? If so, the first sentence of the second paragraph can be rewritten as "In the early 1980s, AIDS was first identified as a "gay disease", initially given the name "gay cancer", and was strongly identified with male homosexuality until other prominent HIV-infected people, such as White, Magic Johnson, the Ray brothers and Kimberly Bergalis, appeared in the media to advocate for more AIDS research and public education to address the epidemic." --Moni3 (talk) 21:39, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I was asked to repost my comment regarding this from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies, so here goes: Looking at the two references used in the "Ryan White and public perception of AIDS" section, the NY Times article [4] uses the word "gay" many more times than the word "homosexual". I don't have access to And the Band Played On, but the article (which appears well sourced) uses "gay community" rather than "homosexual community". So the sources seem to support a change to "gay" (except in direct quotes using "homosexual" of course), and they certainly don't seem to prohibit the change. Siawase (talk) 10:38, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Two issues need to be taken into consideration here. First, this is a featured article and if there is any chance of keeping it this way, the component of brilliant writing needs to remain a part of it. That means word diversity. "Gay" or "homosexual" used too many times in the same sentence or paragraph when the words basically mean the same thing and can be interchanged is clumsy writing. Secondly, I do not know how "homosexual" is pejorative and I am flagrantly homosexual. It is a more clinical term than "gay", so its use varies depending on the purpose, but I don't know where this perceived potential offense comes from. We have an entire suite of articles based on "queer". --Moni3 (talk) 13:05, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. There were two sides here. One was a nearly complete changeover from the use of the word "homosexual" to the use of the word "gay". That this is a featured article is part of the consideration from me that the terminology needs to depend on the sources. There is a happy medium here to be explored. This is not an essay on what others perceive as political correctness, thus my points about the sociological equivalent being made between the use of "homosexual" to "negro". Not the same thing. If the contention that the word "homosexual" is clinical, then clinically referring to sexual behavior needs to be considered. So there are situations where the use of "gay" may be acceptable, but this article is not the vehicle for being pointy and making wholesale terminology changes. Wildhartlivie (talk) 13:38, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Aside from the lead and two brief mentions, the words "homosexual" and "gay" appear in the section "Ryan White and public perception of AIDS". In this section the word "homosexual" is used exclusively in the prose. "Gay" is only used in the wikilinked "gay-related immune deficiency" and a direct quote. When it comes to diversity of wording, if anything "homosexual" is repeated over and over right now. By the way, I don't have an opinion on which is less pejorative, but I looked at the sources since Wildhartlivie said: "content in this article is based on citations, some of which rely on clinical sources, all of which say 'homosexual'." But the sources actually used in the section that deals with the gay and homosexual angle are not clinical, nor do they predominantly use the word "homosexual". Siawase (talk) 14:10, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I have And the Band Played On. In fact, I wrote the article. Let me know if you want me to look anything up. --Moni3 (talk) 15:40, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the first two sentences in that section is sourced to And the Band Played On. I assume that "homosexual problem" is a time accurate direct quote, but I wonder about "homosexual communities", since the And the Band Played On article uses "gay community/ies" exclusively. I don't know if there's anything specific to look up though, since the use is pervasive throughout that article. I guess if you could confirm if it is in the book as well? Siawase (talk) 17:15, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I take no issue with quoting a "homosexual problem," or any other quoted term from the time, but I don't see why, without quotation, modern Wikipedians should themselves refer to gay people as "homosexuals" when numerous style guides are in agreement that "homosexual" should not be used as a noun. Also, while I wouldn't completely use a book from 1987 to define modern style, "And The Band Played On" contains zero references to a "homosexual community" and at least 100 references to a "gay community," as per Google Books. (talk) 22:32, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you completely. Also, note that And the Band Played On was written by a gay man from within the gay community. It's obvious from how this article uses "homosexual" so frequently as a noun, that it hasn't had enough previous influence from the gay community. Hopefully, that will now change. Let's see this article become even better still by the correct use of "homosexual" and the incorrect use changed appropriately. Political correctness has nothing to do with it. --SkagitRiverQueen (talk) 22:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm back to this. What's the incorrect use? According to what source? --Moni3 (talk) 22:49, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think word diversity is important, especially for a featured article but I also think there is a lot to be said for common parlance, and it's jarring to use "homosexual community" and "gay community" in the same section. In most cases, I'd prefer to use "gay community" as a more commonly understood term, particularly in the lead section, and "homosexual" (or extensions of the word) to convey or paraphrase an attitude of the time. I think a couple of sentences need to be reworked, not only because they contain the word "homosexuals", although it's true to say that word drew me to them.

I question "White's diagnosis demonstrated to many that AIDS was not exclusive to homosexuals." Did it really demonstrate that the disease was not exclusive to a particular community, or did it demonstrate that it was not exclusively contracted through sexual contact? Did it really demonstrate to "many" or did a significant number of people remain prejudiced? His diagnosis was a private thing, his publicity came later, and "many" is vague. I would suggest something like "The publicity that developed around White's case demonstrated that HIV infection could occur without sexual contact." Not perfect, but something like that.

"White and his family strongly rejected the language of "innocent victim" because the phrase was often used to imply that homosexuals with AIDS were "guilty" is a very wrong sentence in my opinion. Reading through the source article, this sentence is not supported, and it seems to twist Mrs White's comments. She doesn't mention "homosexuals" in this context, she does not use the word "guilty", and her comment about "innocent" was a very compassionate criticism of comments attributed to Kimberley Bergalis who testified before Congress that she "hadn't done anything wrong." Our interpretation is stronger than what is actually said and I think her comments are powerful and eloquent enough to stand on their own. We could say "White's mother disapproved of comments that described some people afflicted with AIDS as "innocent" and told The New York Times "Ryan always said..... " Again, not perfect. Rossrs (talk) 09:39, 23 February 2010 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"White's diagnosis demonstrated to many that AIDS was not exclusive to homosexuals." Did it really demonstrate that the disease was not exclusive to a particular community, or did it demonstrate that it was not exclusively contracted through sexual contact? Did it really demonstrate to "many" or did a significant number of people remain prejudiced?" Yes, the gay community felt very strongly that White's illness *did* demonstrate AIDS was not exclusive to a particular group of people. Amongst those who remained prejudiced, they remained prejudiced by-and-large because they *wanted* it to be a gay-disease in order to either give them a better reason to be prejudiced against homosexuals or to promote their own cause and/or agenda. But it wasn't as if White having AIDS suddenly changed the face of AIDS - it took time, but his illness *did* make a difference in how AIDS was thought of and perceived . I remember once hearing an educated, well-known and repspected pastor and Bible scholar saying, "AIDS is lodged in the rectum, that's why it's a homosexual, sodomite disease". And that was *after* Ryan White died. As far as the statement below claiming there was "resentment" amongst PWAs that it took White's illness to bring the proper attention to AIDS amongst the mainstream media and the rest of America - that's untrue. There was general anger that there had been people dying of the disease for so long and no one outside the gay community seemed to care. There was definite anger toward the Reagan administration, the Moral Majority and what was seen as the self-righteous extreme right. But actual "resentment" from PWA's in the gay community toward a child dying of the disease many they knew were dying of? Not. --SkagitRiverQueen (talk) 15:55, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

People can choose to be ignorant and bigoted and I understand that there were people who wanted the disease to be a "gay disease" because it suited their prejudice. They still exist. In Ryan White's time, yes I know his case helped bring discussion into the broader community and helped changed attitudes. I just don't think the sentence is worded as well it could be. There was a lot of anger towards the Reagan administration, and towards other groups who failed to address the problem in a timely manner, but I think the comment about resentment is valid. "There was general anger that there had been people dying of the disease for so long and no one outside the gay community seemed to care." I agree completely. After so many people had died and were still dying, without the government or the public responding to any significant degree, it must have been frustrating that a young boy aroused such empathy, when the main thing that set him apart was the manner in which he had contracted the virus. I think that is what was meant by that comment. I don't see anything in the comment to suggest that any resentment was directed at White personally, but rather at the apathy that had previously existed. Rossrs (talk) 21:59, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I read the comment differently that you, apparently (and that's "read" in the present tense). Also, as someone who is part of the LGBT community and has been intimately aware of AIDS and those with it since the early-80s, I can tell you that "resentment" isn't really accurate. Look, I've known more than 100 friends who have died from the disease - at least 2/3 of them dying in the 1980s; the remainder in the early to mid-1990s before the drugs got better and more effective over the long-term. There was a time when I was attending multiple funerals every month. I still know a good number of men who remain HIV positive but have somehow stayed alive with the disease for more than two decades. I can testify as a first hand-witness that it wasn't "resentment" people in the gay community were feeling, it was anger. And certainly not because of Ryan White's openness of what it was like for someone outside the gay community to contract the disease. The anger was directed largely at the US government as well as those who insisted that those who did get sick and die, died because of who they were and were being punished. Ryan White and Elizabeth Glaser put a new face to AIDS, most certainly, but I know of *no one* in the gay community (and as someone who is actually a part of the gay community, I think I would have a better perspective than someone who isn't no matter how close they think they are/were to those in the queer world) who felt "resentment" over the attention AIDS received after their AIDS diagnoses became public knowledge. If anything, the gay community and those with HIV/AIDS within the gay community were elated that something was now going to be done, while skeptical it might be short-lived and/or selective, yet still quite angry that when it was a "gay disease", it wasn't important enough for the POTUS to acknowledge. --SkagitRiverQueen (talk) 22:44, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
You're singing to the choir. The community anger was well placed, and the elation was well placed and the scepticism too. I know that every time a PWA was presented in the public forum without a negative connotation, it benefited everyone and that the openness of Ryan White's case benefitted a lot of people. Maybe we do read the comment differently, but to me, the comment about resentment is related to a specific group of individuals in a "closed-shop" environment, in a specific context, and there's nothing to say it was the only emotion/attitude that they conveyed or even that it was the strongest. Individuals can be cynical and don't always present the most noble sentiment. Resentment can be conveyed by some people more easily than anger, especially if they've been worn down and marginalised over time. I don't doubt that it could have been part of the attitude of the people described, and it's just one attitude out of many. I didn't meet those particular people, and I'm prepared to consider the interpretation of someone who met them. If it was being applied to the gay community as a whole, I'd disagree with it, but that's not the case. Rossrs (talk) 08:15, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Exactly, Rossrs. It wasn't a comment specific to the gay community. There were women, straight men, IV drug users, one woman who contracted it from her baby's father and her baby was also positive. It was a wide group. And who is to say that they didn't feel resentment. The words were "I resent the fact that White is accepted and I'm not." Those people weren't particularly associated with any group except living with HIV or AIDS. And it isn't a matter of keeping count of how many funerals or persons one knows. I'm sure everyone close to this has been to more than their fair share of funerals. I used to carry those little programs they have at funerals in my purse until it got too full. White's was one of them. Wildhartlivie (talk) 13:27, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
In regard to the last paragraph, if you don't feel the New York Times source supports the sentence, other sourcing can be found to support that sentence. It's basically true. The prevalent feeling in the area where White lived did have the viewpoint that AIDS was a gay disease and personally, I went to public speeches where White and his mother espoused that very point - that guilt or innocence was not a factor. It was one of the core teaching emphases of the AIDS Task Force with which I worked at one time in the mid-1990s. It was the basis of talks that were given by my friend who died in 1995 to community groups. That can be supported if that particular source isn't acceptable. As for the second paragraph, both. That White was once described as the poster boy for HIV because he was a straight, non-sexually active boy who was not an IV drug user was a huge factor as well. And I can say that the people who worked with ATF-R talked about that often. There was a certain level of resentment amongst the persons with AIDS that it took this boy to put a legitimate face on AIDS that wasn't afforded to them prior to that. Wildhartlivie (talk) 13:35, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't think the source supports the sentence in the last paragraph, and I also think that what Mrs White said in that interview was approaching the issue from a different angle to what is conveyed. I don't dispute that the sentiment presented is true, or that it can be attributed to her, but to use it in its current form, I think it does need additional sourcing. The second paragraph, well yes but I think it showed HIV wasn't always sexually contracted, as opposed to "homosexually" contracted, although I appreciate that was probably the main prejudice he faced. If Ryan wasn't the first person to demonstrate a non-sexually contracted infection, he was probably the first person to be recognised on a world wide level. I don't think the sentence is well written or well worded, but in essence I guess it does represent the prevailing attitude of the time. I was thinking about it from my own observations - by the time Ryan White became well known, there had already been a couple of Australians (Suzi Lovegrove and her son, infected in her womb) to prove that it wasn't solely a gay disease, and a child Eve Van Grafhorst, who had been infected via blood products and who was being hounded out of Australia at about the same time Ryan White was being persecuted in his town. So, at least some of the hysteria derived from fear of the virus, general ignorance and prejudices that included, but was not restricted to, homophobia. There was some public knowledge regarding the pathology of the virus that predated Ryan, but granted, for a lot of people it probably was seen as a "gay disease" (and also "someone else's problem"), until Ryan. Rossrs (talk) 15:06, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Folks, please note I was misquoted. I said quite succinctly that "There was a certain level of resentment amongst the persons with AIDS that it took this boy to put a legitimate face on AIDS that wasn't afforded to them prior to that." I did not say there was resentment toward White, but against the circumstances which led to making White a poster boy for AIDS. I know that because it was a frequent topic in the support groups I facilitated. So we're given to accept that a person heard a minister characterize AIDS as a disease of the rectum, but not accept that I also heard groups of persons with AIDS express resentment toward the circumstances that led to White making having AIDS a sympathetic cause, is wrong? Pah. I facilitated two support groups from 1990 until 1996. I heard it plenty. If you don't believe me, that's your misfortune, or perhaps lack of hands-on involvement or being in the midst of plain talking HIV-positive persons who weren't initimidated from saying what was on their minds. He was called a poster boy for social acceptance of AIDS in "To a poster child, dying young" in the U.S. News and World Report on April 16, 1990. As for this article lacking input from the LGBT projects, Moni3 wrote above that she is "flagrantly homosexual" and worked on this article as it was written, so that assertion is not valid. Wildhartlivie (talk) 17:05, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Discussion for the wider community[edit]

This discussion has occurred off the article talk page, but I feel as if it needs to be opened to the community who are interested in this article. First, an original research template was added to the article lead here. I removed it because 1) it is the lead and 2) it is directly from the article section here. The editor returned it [5]. A discussion ensued and I am copying it over here for wider consideration, since it has taken a personal turn regarding my intentions.

Two points. The first is WP:DTTR - don't template the regulars. The second point is that it is not original research to state that AIDS was first diagnosed in the United States in the gay community. I have no idea where you got that perception, but the infection was first called gay-related immune deficiency. That fact is thoroughly covered in the section Ryan White#Ryan White and public perception of AIDS and is sourced there. We don't routinely demand citations in the lead section of the article when it is covered and sourced in the article. So your sticking in a OR template in the lead is both incorrect and ignores the rest of the article. Wildhartlivie (talk) 04:48, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

First you rmvd the OR tag without even an edit summary. That's very poor editing to say the least, and so you deserve the template, regardless of DTTR. The point of DTTR is that established editors should know what the h*ll they're doing... Second, I didn't OR tag the statement that it was first identified in the gay cmmty; I OR'd the causal link regarding the public perception. You didn't prove the causality in the body text, either. I'd be happy to put an OR tag down there, if you like... • Ling.Nut 04:58, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
There's no policy that demands an edit summary, so your perception of whether I "deserve" a template is specious. Second, you did not make clear what it was that you templated, you just stuck in the template and failed to explain your rationale on the talk page. Third, I'm totally unclear what your point is. "AIDS was known as gay-related immune deficiency, because the disease had first been identified among primarily homosexual communities in New York City and San Francisco." is clarified by the link to Gay-related immune deficiency and the connection is sourced there. What the hell else would one conclude except that it was first diagnosed in the gay community and it was first called GRID? It continued to be referred to as a "gay disease" long after it had spread to other demographics. Sorry, you are being vague and picky regarding "proof". BTW, the article covers that too, and it is sourced. I have asked another editor to look at your tags and render an opinion on your points. Wildhartlivie (talk) 05:24, 11 April 2010 (UTC
As you mention above, HIV/AIDS existed first in the gay community, and later spread to others. That is distinct from the article's assertion that it was called GRID merely because it was discovered first in the gay community. Your assertion leaves open the possibility that it was equally distributed among different segments of the population, but doesn't verify that fact (if it is true)... that word "because" is the part you didn't document. Sorry if I am being too firm... and sorry if I mistook your lack of edit summary for truculence... as for policies, DTTR is not a policy; neither are the guidelines regarding edit summaries... meanwhile though, please clarify the prose in your article.. I could say more, but that's enough I guess.. going to work now... • Ling.Nut 05:40, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi. Wildhartlivie asked me to comment, so ... I don't think it's correct to say that "because" makes the sentence original research. The lead section is a summary of the article, and it correctly summarizes a point made in the article. Therefore if the "OR" tag should be placed anywhere it should be in the section of text from which that part of the lead is taken, not in the lead itself. In the article, the comment links to gay-related immune deficiency which explains that this was a name originally proposed, but ultimately discarded as being too specific in defining the demographic impacted by the virus. It sources this information to The History of AIDS and ARC. It seems to be quite well supported in my opinion, although I think the Ryan White article should cite the same information to the same source. The word "because" isn't used, but the context is identical and makes it clear that the early perception was that although nobody really understood what the disease was, it was seen as a gay disease as it was first recognised in the gay male communities of San Francisco and New York City. The word in the Ryan White article is not "discovered" and I don't think Wildhartlivie has used that word in discussion, unless I've missed it. In any case, we're talking about what's in the article. The lead uses "diagnosed" and the article uses "identified". There is no doubt that it was first "diagnosed" and "identified" among gay males. "Discovered" would, as you say, have a different meaning and be unacceptable here, but that's not the word being used. It's also relevant to source to material and perceptions that were applicable during White's lifetime. The purpose of the sentence in the article is to place Ryan White's case against the historical background of bigotry and misinformation that he had to deal with, and White's fight against the stigma that resulted from the common misconception that the virus targetted only gay males is precisely what makes him notable against the huge number of other people who also died as a result of the same virus. I think it needs to be cited, and when it is cited, there is no problem with the text in its current form. Rossrs (talk) 10:11, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
And the article does not say it was called GRID because it was first discovered in the gay community. There also is no support to say it existed first in the gay community. Fact is, there is little to support that the infection was prevalent in any other populations to start. Also bear in mind that this point does not translate to other locales besides the US. It says quite clearly that it was first identified there, there is no assertion made about where it was first discovered. There is a huge difference between asserting that something was first discovered somewhere and saying that it was first identified in a given population. It was first identified in the gay community in the US, and yes, that is the basis for why it was first called GRID. Why else would it be called gay-related immune deficiency? Wildhartlivie (talk) 13:56, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm. First, I'm not saying you're right or wrong; I'm saying your sourcing is weak. Second, I'm sure you have a great attachment to this article. You may want to bear that in mind as you consider your position and your actions. Third, the point I am trying to make to you is that you are speaking from inner convictions. You have not, via your sourcing, established anything at all — or at least, I haven't seen it. If you wanna say "Before White, AIDS was a disease widely associated with the male homosexual community, because it was first diagnosed there" and "In the early 1980s, AIDS was known as gay-related immune deficiency, because the disease had first been identified among primarily homosexual communities in New York City and San Francisco"... well... you have two choices, depending on what you perceive Wikipedia to be: IF you share my conviction that Wikipedia should merely gather verifiable (and verified!) bits of information, then you need to go out and find sources which precisely repeat the meaning of your assertions. If you perceive Wikipedia to be... I dunno what... a place where some "commonsense" meme should be disseminated to the public as some sort of "public service" because ... well, because.. you have a deep conviction in your mind that "dammit, I'm right!"... then.. why, you are doing everything precisely correctly... I said I would reply tonight; I hope you see this 'cause I hate those damn talkback templates... Sometime in the next few weeks I will try to spend some time digging up sources BUT I am going to be very busy in real life again starting.. pretty much now.... It's highly likely that you think I'm full of crap. I hereby extend a very friendly invitation for you to stop thinking about me and go read your sources. I mean, you know, READ them. Carefully. See if they assert what you assert. 09:36, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is not a personal issue. It is totally a matter of it being already covered. I see no logic in your argument. The pertinent section of the article states: In the early 1980s, AIDS was known as gay-related immune deficiency, because the disease had first been identified among primarily homosexual communities in New York City and San Francisco. At the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, the disease was thought to be a "homosexual problem" and was largely ignored by policy makers.[1] White's diagnosis demonstrated to many that AIDS was not exclusive to homosexuals. In his advocacy for AIDS research, White himself always rejected any criticism of homosexuality.[2] This firmly establishes back up for the statement in the lead: "Before White, AIDS was a disease widely associated with the male homosexual community, because it was first diagnosed there."

It isn't a personal thing to extrapolate that something called GRID (gay-related immune deficiency) would be called that for a solid reason. I cannot for the life of me understand how you could doubt that. Together with the article on gay-related immune deficiency, it leaves no doubt. Since GRID is wikilinked, go read that article. The statement is sourced to "The History of AIDS and ARC" at the LSU Law Center. But as far as I'm concerned the connection is a no-brainer. I've brought this to the article talk page for others to comment.Wildhartlivie (talk) 01:24, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

If I were Ryan's mother I would have responded to President Reagan's little speech by saying "Thank you Mr. President, But NO THANK YOU, Your little speech came TEN YEARS TOO LATE" Had he acted when he should have we might have had a lot more going for us in the fight against AIDS a lot earlier in the game, He has blood on his hands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 11 June 2011 (UTC)



Hello from Belarus, colleagues :) In preparation for the nomination of Russian article in "Good article" found weirdness:
In this article it is told:

When he was six days old, doctors diagnosed him with severe Hemophilia A,

In the autobiographical book says:

Which is so slow that if I got cut, I could bleed to death, just waiting for my blood to clot. That nearly happened to me, only three days after I born, because no one ever expected ne to have hemophilia

In the «Ryan White's Testimony before the President's Commission on AIDS» read:

When I was three days old, the doctors told my parents I was a severe hemophiliac

Maybe the article is wrong? What is written in the Source number 3? (Resnik, Susan (1999). Blood Saga: Hemophilia, AIDS, and the Survival of a Community. University of California Press)? Who has to it an access, check up please!
I'm sorry for my bad English :)--SergeyA. (talk) 19:48, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Nobody watches this Featured article?
Fixed...--SergeyA. (talk) 11:39, 20 April 2011 (UTC)


I wanted to pass along a potential source for this article, the Ryan White Unit of Study that was developed for grades 6-8 by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. It may have some more details in the background sections that could be useful here. If anyone would like any further, specific information, let me know and it's possible our curators could find something in our archives. LoriLee (talk) 17:08, 20 September 2011 (UTC):

"Ryan White was born at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital" {{fact}}? In his autobiography does not. In the interenet could not find. The question arose in the Turkish wiki.. Thank you in advance.-- (talk) 16:10, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

'The boy who saved me from myself': Elton John on the young friend whose death from AIDS turned around his own life[edit] I think it might be worth adding some points to the article from this news story. (talk) 00:57, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Excellent Citations[edit]

I read a bit of this page today and was very impressed by the amount of citations! Keep up the good work Limited Atonement (talk) 13:48, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

this story infuriates me! I know that my one voice isn't enough but maybe it'll inspire one of many friend on Facebook. I feel like sending a letter to those idiots at his school too! I'm so mad!

I'm Lori Williams — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Ryan White's story[edit]

This life-story infuriates me! I know that my one voice isn't enough but maybe it'll inspire one of many friend on Facebook. I feel like sending a letter to those idiots at his school too! I'm so mad! But I'm also proud because I never heard him feeling like a victim, that's wisdom for such a young man! Wisdom that a lot of us could use!

I'm Lori Williams