When a disease, especially an infectious one, is not fully understood, it often starts a confusion of massive scale among the society.
When there was no immediate treatment available, people began selling pseudo-medicine with outrageous efficacy claims despite the lack of scientific data.
Things turn from bad to worse when irresponsible individuals start to blame certain minorities in society. The infected become outcasts and are forced into isolation.
It happened once in the United States during the early years of the AIDS outbreak. There still isn’t an effective cure for the condition, but the situation was so bleak that the infected were hated back then.
This is the story of Ryan Hall, a young man who contracted AIDS from blood transfusion to treat hemophilia A, a rare disorder that impairs the body’s ability to make blood clots.
Facing persecution from society at home and school, Ryan persevered through the ordeal until his body couldn’t handle it anymore.
Ryan died at a young age, but his legacy in shifting the narrative around the disease continues to live on.
10 /10 Born With Hemophilia A
Ryan White was born with a rare genetic disorder known as hemophilia A, rendering his blood system unable to clot normally.
Each time a hemophiliac suffers an injury, even a mild one like a small cut and scrape, the bleeding doesn’t quickly stop, and bruising injury may even cause internal bleeding.
Ryan frequently used “Factor VIII,” a blood-clotting agent created using plasma taken from thousands of donors to cope with the condition. Such treatment prevents hemophiliac bleeding episodes from causing severe damages to organs.
9 /10 A Fever Of 104 Degrees
Ryan was a sickly child throughout the summer and fall of 1984. He suffered from recurrent diarrhea, exhaustion, chronic night sweats, and stomach cramps when he was 12.
When he turned 13, the conditions turned for the worse by December. At one point, Ryan told his mother, Jeanne, about how he had not been able to get off the school bus without being exhausted.
When Ryan ran a fever of 104 degrees, Jeanne took her son to a local hospital in Kokomo, Indiana, where doctors treated him for antibiotic-resistant pneumonia.