As World AIDS Day Dec. 1 brought people together from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, Emory University localized that mission by hosting the annual Quilt on the Quad event at the Dobbs University Center Nov. 30.
This year’s display differed from those in the past where the quilts were centrally displayed in that 675 quilt panels were placed throughout the campus, mostly indoors with several featured inside the Dobbs Center. In addition to the quilt displays, the event featured musical performances, guest speakers and personal stories from survivors and families.
Speakers included representatives from the Names Project Foundation, which helps maintain the quilt, the Emory Center for AIDS Research, John Blevins, associate research professor at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, and Emory staff member Karly Taylor, who talked about the panel her family created for an uncle who passed away from the disease.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal proclaimed Dec. 1, 2012, World AIDS Day in Georgia. The state joined countries around the world uniting people in the fight against HIV/AIDS, offering support for people living with HIV and remembering those who have died of AIDS.
In observance of World AIDS Day, the Georgia Department of Public Health hosted its first HIV/AIDS Twitter chat noon to 1 p.m. on Dec. 1 Discussion topics included startling new HIV/AIDS numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the AIDS epidemic in Georgia, and what is being done statewide to fight the spread of HIV.
Numbers released recently by the CDC reveal young people between the ages of 13 and 24 represent more than a quarter of new HIV infections each year. Sixty percent of those young people don’t know they are infected.
“It is a sobering reality that so many young people are infected with HIV and even more startling, the number of these young people who aren’t even aware of it,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “This tragedy can be prevented by getting people tested and linked to treatment.”