With over 200 people attending, Jeanne White-Ginder shared many personal stories about her son, Ryan White, whose legacy, 20 years later, lives on. The event, coordinated by DACCO’s Project Care Office, was held on Friday, October 14th at DACCO’s Center for Behavioral Health. Anil Pandya, DACCO’s Manager over the program, stated: “HIV continues to disproportionately affect Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties with the State of Florida ranking 3rd among all States in the number of reported AIDS cases. Bringing Jeanne White-Ginder to DACCO reminded us all of a mothers love that was so strong as to protect her child from a world that was not ready to accept him and of a boy whose courage to not only overcome this non-acceptance, but to change how the disease was perceived was of great importance as we continue to address this epidemic.”
Given DACCOs emphasis on promoting overall health, combined with the intertwined nature of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse (the twin epidemics according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), DACCO was one of the first agencies in the county to provide HIV/AIDS services. DACCO currently provides, through the Project Care HIV/AIDS program, safer sex education and distribution of condoms and literature; counseling, testing, risk assessment, education, and referrals; food bank services; substance abuse treatment; and screening and referrals for treatment of STDs, HIV/AIDS risk assessment, overlay, counseling, outreach and food bank services to individuals in the greater Tampa Bay area.