Monday, November 30, 2020

World AIDS Day and that Memorial Quilt

I've been preoccupied this morning, the eve of World AIDS Day 2020, searching the AIDS Memorial Quilt database, which is located here, for familiar names. I've not been able to make the "Aids Quilt Touch" feature on the search page work, but the "Search the Quilt" bar works very efficiently in case you're interested.

The idea for the quilt was developed in 1985 by San Francisco-based activist Cleve Jones and has grown since to include more than 48,000 panels containing more than 100,000 names.

The quilt was moved to Atlanta some 20 years ago, but during 2019 returned to San Francisco after the National AIDS Memorial assumed responsibility for it. During ordinary times, panels of the quilt travel the country for display. During this new pandemic, access to the quilt is virtual.

Although the number of AIDS-related deaths worldwide has declined markedly since its peak in 2004, it remains a major world (and national) threat. Some 690,000 reportedly died during 2019, the most recent year for which figures are available.

So even as we thrash around and adjust to life during this new pandemic it's useful to remember that this older adversary still is active among us.

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