Boy With AIDS Goes to Head of Class
NEW YORK (AP) _ Ryan White, a 16-year-old Indiana boy with AIDS, went to the head of the class - to answer fifth-graders’ questions about the deadly disease.
Wednesday’s question-and-answer session at P.S. 87 in Manhattan was recorded for a television special on AIDS to be broadcast this fall on the Children’s Television Workshop program ″3-2-1 Contact.″
White, a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion, assured students, ″You can’t get AIDS from sitting next to someone with AIDS ... or using the same bathroom or kissing someone.″
Asked about reaction to his disease - the White family was ostracized, their car tires slashed, their house pelted with eggs - he said: ″It hurt but I tried to ignore the name-calling and stuff like that. ... I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through.″
Students said they profited from the session. ″At first I thought I could get AIDS from just touching someone,″ said Jessalyn Sanchez. ″Now I know you don’t.″
Added Stephanie Pitsirilos: ″I’ll remember that even if someone has AIDS, you can’t judge him.″