Raising Awareness: Today is World AIDS Day

There is an international day set aside for the awareness of HIV/AIDS for a reason. Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is an incurable disease that is home to more than 30 million worldwide. http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm

And Michael, being the humanitarian that he was, was no stranger to this devastating disease. Michael, who selflessly reached out to many children worldwide was involved in a touching friendship with Ryan White, a young boy from Indiana who contracted HIV/ AIDS in the 1980s from a blood transfusion, and became the poster child for HIV/AIDs. Ryan White, who died in April of 1990, was shunned and harassed for fear of his disease. Not long before Ryan passed, Michael befriended the boy, aiming to allow the world to realize that this child was just that- a child. Michael attended the funeral of the young boy and wrote the song Gone Too Soon in honor of his lost friend.

Below is a video of Michael singing the song dedicated to Ryan at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Afterwards, Michael asked that President Clinton to provide research and treatment funding to better combat the disease. In August of 1990, the Ryan White Care Act was passed.

On October 21, 2009, the House passed the Ryan White HIV/ AIDS Treatment Extension Act (S.1793) reauthorizing the Ryan White program for four years. A little over a week later, Ryan White’s mother, Jeanne Ginder-White was present at the signing ceremony of the fourth extension of the original Care Act. This Act has gone on to help people with HIV/AIDs for nearly twenty years, and has no intention on stopping any time soon providing care, treatment, and support to almost a half million people affected.

Below is an interview involving Ryan’s Mother on he and Michael’s friendship.  

If you care to give a hand or donate to a charity that will help in the research and care for those afflicted, this link will provide you with many foundations dedicated to AIDS research. http://www.looktothestars.org/category/1-aids#charities

“Ryan White” (Written By: Michael J.Jackson)Ryan White, symbol of justice
Or child of innocence, messenger of love

Where are you now, where have you gone?

Ryan White, I miss your sunny days

We carelessly frolicked in extended plays

I miss you, Ryan White I miss your smile, innocent and bright

I miss your glory, I miss your light Ryan White, symbol of contradiction

Child of Irony, or child of fiction?

I think of your shattered life Of your struggle, of your strife

While ladies dance in the moonlit night

Champagne parties on chartered cruises

I see your wasted form, your ghostly sight

I feel your festering wounds, your battered bruises

Ryan White, symbol of agony and pain

Of ignorant fear gone insane In a hysterical society

With free-floating anxiety

And feigned piety I miss you, Ryan White

You showed us how to stand and fight

In the rain you were a cloudburst of joy

The sparkle of hope in every girl and boy In the depths of your anguished sorrow

Was the dream of another tomorrow.

from the book ‘Dancing the Dream’ by Michael Jackson
 

 

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