Monday, December 1, 2008

patchwork quilt

We've had too many World AIDS Days.
Richard Gere (b.1949) actor and activist

today marks the 20th anniversary of world aids day. in spite of strides made in the fight against aids, hiv/aids remains a worldwide health crisis. in 2007, according to the centers for disease control, the estimated number of persons living with hiv was 33.2 million worldwide, of this number 2.7 million people were newly infected.

locally, I have heard stories from friends who practice primary care medicine about how in the last couple years they have seen more new cases of hiv, especially among teens, than in years past. this is very disturbing. we must continue to promote education and awareness on how to prevent infection.

longer than the observance of world aids day has been another project which has raised awareness of aids. in 1987 the aids memorial quilt project also known as the names project began. the names project honors and celebrates the lives of people who have died from this devastating disease. to date this is the largest community arts project in the world.

over the years I have seen many panels of the quilt. the experience has always been tremendously moving and the stories told through these lovingly created panels never fail to bring me to tears. in 1996, I was in d.c. the last time the quilt was displayed in it's entirety. I know I took photographs but apparently I didn't put the photographs in an album. locating loose photos that were taken over twelve years ago, well, forget it. the image above was snagged from the internet. to read more about the names project go here.
From the point of view of the pharmaceutical industry, the AIDS problem has already been solved. After all, we already have a drug which can be sold at the incredible price of $8, 000 an annual dose, and which has the added virtue of not diminishing the market by actually curing anyone.
Barbara Ehrenreich (b. 1941) writer and activist

a song and vid celebration of the names project quilt

today's post is in loving memory of stanton and dave. you guys will always be missed and loved.....


tut-tut said...

THanks for the information; I really wasn't aware that AIDS was on the rise, especially among teens. Don't get me started on this abstinence ed stuff.

I will let you know about Oberlin etc. as soon as L sets up her visits! Also, she is having Music Monday on my blog, starting later today, so you may want to visit to get your dose of what's current. I haven't listened yet to it.

My word verification today is "sunque"; sounds upbeat!

R.L. Bourges said...

I knew nothing about this project, nor that it had been nominated for the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

Impressive photograph too, thanks for the info, kimy.

my word verif says: testypet. hm...

Squirrel said...

I went to see that quilt once.Very emotional. It's been around a ong long time.

My word verification is


last week they all sounded like drugs

praxmyl etc...

Megan said...

I remember when the quilt was small.


The Blue Elephant said...

I saw the quilt when it was first displayed, in Moscone Center in San Francisco, and have some good pictures from that day that I will have to post to my blog some day. This calls up so many sad memories and reminds me that I need to support those who are LWA, living with AIDS. Thanks.

lettuce said...

that quilt is astonishing

this is very moving kimy

Merle Sneed said...

It paints a picture we can't forget.

Reya Mellicker said...

I lived in San Francisco during the plague - mid 80's through the 90's. During those years I lost 17 friends and acquaintances to AIDS. It was such a frightening time, especially because of the way these men suffered before they died, all the ailments they had to contend with. It was gruesome and scary.

I saw the quilt once in San Francisco, down on the piers by the Bay. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

Thank you for this.

K. said...

The best -- and I don't write that lightly -- nonfiction book I've ever read is ...And The Band Played On, the late Randy Shilts' epic about the early years of AIDS. He seamless integrates history, politics, science, and biography in a way that you always understand what is happening and so that you can't wait to see what happens next. A genuinely great book.

WAT said...

HIV/AIDS is cruel. I'm such a sexually liberated person, and for this disease to even exist is tragic. I guess I'll have to continue being careful as I have been doing all these years, BUT STILL! ARGH!

Lovely picture of WASHINGTON D.C. and the quilt. I'm truly sorry for the human species, for even having to go through this most insidious ailment.