World AIDS Day is observed on December 1.

It’s a time when people unite to raise awareness about the disease.

Jeanne White-Ginder is in Chattanooga to speak to people about her family’s public struggle with AIDS after her teenage son was diagnosed in 1984.

Ryan White became a household name. He was a teenager from Indiana who became infected after receiving a transfusion to treat his hemophilia.

It was later determined that the blood was contaminated and contained the HIV virus.

White’s family later went through a legal battle to fight for his right to attend school. At the time, other parents were fearful for their children to be around him.

The teen’s story drew national attention and celebrities like Elton John and Michael Jackson rallied around him.

White lost his battle in 1990 but his mother continues to keep his memory alive by raising awareness.

"We've come so far. The problems we had with trying to fight to get Ryan in school was because people thought you could get AIDS from kissing, tears and sweat. They thought mosquitos and fleas might transmit AIDS. We’ve come a long way since then and we’ve made really good progress with the medications and now we have medicine that can get you undetectable,” White-Ginder told Channel 3.

At the time, White was one of a handful of highly visible people with AIDS who helped change the public perception of the disease.

His mother says there is still more work to be done especially in education and that’s why she travels the country speaking about AIDS.

White-Ginder will speak Friday night in Chattanooga for World AIDS Day. The event is at Waterhouse Pavilion at 5:30 and is free to the public.