The AIDS Memorial Quilt arrived Sunday at CSU. The quilt is displayed in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom through Dec. 3.
“Before the AIDS quilt, people that died from AIDS just dropped into a black hole and were never remembered again. The AIDS quilt allows a visual memory of all the people that have died of AIDS,” said Luke Walker from Northern Colorado AIDS project.
The portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that was brought to CSU consisted of 20 sections each containing eight panels. Each custom designed panel represents someone who has passed away due to AIDS.
The panels represent all different kinds of people regardless of age, race, gender, and sexual preference.
“AIDS in not just a gay disease. It can affect anyone,” said Rod Rodriguez a technical journalism major.
Rodriguez, from Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Student Services, Guadalupe Salazar, from El Centro Student Services, Mikiko Kumasaka, from Asian Pacific American Student Services and Martha Denney, from International Education, spoke during the opening ceremony last night stressing the issue that anyone can become a victim of AIDS.
Currently, there are about 14 million children orphaned by HIV and AIDS, with approximately 40 million children by 2010 if no action is taken, according to information distributed at the AIDS Quilt display.
One specific panel addresses children with HIV and AIDS.
“For the children: For those who will go next, fresh flowers, in their wilting hands. For the Children,” the panel states.
Another panel was built especially for “Janne” another AIDS victim. No other words were embedded on this particular quilt, only shapes of hearts, flowers, stars, and a moon.
“This is the first time that women have outpaced men when getting HIV and AIDS,” Denney said.
Another quilt was dedicated to a woman by the name Joan Foster. The panel was made of pink cloth with white ruffles along the edges. Scattered amongst the panel were pictures of Denney outlining the quote, “It’s always hard to say goodbye but goodbyes are not forever. We will meet again someday. You’ll always have a special place in our heart. With love, your family.”
Foster was in her thirties when she passed away because of AIDS.
“We need to make everyone informed on AIDS and HIV in order to prevent more people from getting the disease,” Walker said.
More Americans have died from AIDS than all the people that died from WWII and Vietnam combined, Walker said.
A way to help prevent AIDS and HIV from spreading is to know your risk, get tested, practice safer sex, get informed, stay informed, volunteer at the Northern Colorado AIDS project, sign a petition using the MTV website-www.staying-alive.org, and educate your peers.
“AIDS does not discriminate, AIDS is not racist, AIDS can effect everyone,” Salazar said.