The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has announced that it has named Dr. Anthony Fauci as this year’s recipient of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award for his work in HIV/AIDS prevention and as a leading expert during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases doctor, is scheduled to be given the award on December 6 and will be hosted for a "fireside chat" as part of a virtual ceremony.
William L. Yarber, senior director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and Provost Professor at the School of Public Health, explained that recipients of the award “have demonstrated their solemn promise to scientific methods, access to treatment and educating the public."
He emphasized that Fauci, “from his early and continuing work in HIV/AIDS prevention to the COVID-19 pandemic, is perhaps the most recognizable figure associated with infectious disease research and public awareness."
School of Public Health Dean David B. Allison added that "stalwart members of the scientific community, throughout history, have defended their peoples, communities and humanity at large by uncompromisingly standing up for the pursuit and communication of truth through science. As we have stared down this demon of a pandemic, no figure has more prominently represented this commitment to science and truth than Dr. Fauci."
The award was named for Ryan White, an Indiana teen who was diagnosed with HIV in 1984 after receiving contaminated blood products used to treat his hemophilia, according to the school’s statement.
He was banned from public school despite the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health stating that he posed no risk to students and staff.
White, who died in 1990 at the age of 18, waged a legal battle to return to school.
His legal battle against the public school system and his role as an advocate for AIDS research was the subject of a film, “The Ryan White Story,” according to the Indiana Daily Student.
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