Never Forget: UW Hospital's HIV Clinic Brings AIDS Memorial Quilt to Madison
MADISON - Twenty-one panels, each one 144 feet square.
Each of the 21 panels tells eight human stories, in colorful thread, of the lives of loved ones lost to the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
Since its creation in 1987, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has served as a powerful, unforgettable reminder that HIV/AIDS remains a deadly disease, even as modern medicines have made it possible for many to live relatively normal lives.
In honor of World AIDS Day, the HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Care Program at UW Hospital and Clinics is bringing part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Madison, where it will hang on Wednesday and Thursday in the main lobby of Madison's Overture Center, 201 State Street.
Among the hundreds of individuals represented on the panels coming to Madison, at least 13 are from Wisconsin, including several who received treatment at UW Hospital's clinic.
"In the beginning, AIDS was basically an ignored disease," says UW patient advocate Heidi Nass, who was also instrumental in bringing the quilt to Madison. "The quilt helped bring the devastation of the epidemic into public view, where it should stay."
The panels that will hang in Overture Center represent only a small piece of the complete AIDS Memorial Quilt, which encompasses more than 45,500 panels and commemorates more than 91,000 people. Those are numbers that are often lost on a modern public.
"People tend to think of AIDS as a problem that existed in the deep past, but today there are nine states in the U.S. that currently have waiting lists for HIV drugs," says Nass. "Globally, only about four out of ten people who need treatment actually have access to it. There's a lot more work to be done."
As part of a local effort to help the community better understand the modern face of HIV/AIDS, UW Hospital and Clinics' HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Care Program has put together a series of videos featuring patients who are living successfully with HIV.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt will be available to view from 11am to 10pm on Wednesday and 10am to 10pm on Thursday.
Date Published: 12/01/2009