November 26, 2007
Quilt on the Quad
raises AIDS awareness
By beverly Clark
Emory's Quadrangle will once again be the site of a vibrant yet somber reminder of the toll of AIDS. More than 800 panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt — each memorializing the loss of a life to AIDS — will be featured in the annual Quilt on the Quad Friday, Nov. 30, in honor of World AIDS Day.
Sponsored by Emory Hillel, the "Quilt on the Quad"
display — one of the largest in the world — will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., including an opening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. that will feature keynote speaker Julie Gerberding, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, followed by a public reading of all of the individual names on the quilt panels.
This year's Quilt on the Quad is the largest collegiate display of the quilt in the country, which reflects a focus this year by student organizers to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV among college-age students.
"Among the hardest hit demographics with new HIV cases every year are 18–24 year-olds," said junior Daniel Sperling, one of the lead organizers of the event. "The younger generations are growing up no longer seeing individuals around them dying from this horrific disease, and therefore are beginning to feel immune to becoming infected with the virus. In reality, infection rates are once again on the rise. The AIDS Quilt on the Quad campaign hopes to help change this attitude and once again bring new information to students as well as the greater Atlanta community about this disease."
Beginning Monday, Nov. 26, sections of the quilt will hang in buildings around campus, including Cannon Chapel, Woodruff Library, Rollins School of Public Health, School of Nursing, Goizuetta School of Business, WoodPEC, Dobbs University Center, Woodruff Residence Life Center, Student Health and Counseling Center and Woodruff Health Sciences Administration Building.
On World AIDS Day Saturday, Dec. 1, Emory's Center for Aids Research will host a talk by former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders on "A Sexual Health Policy to Combat HIV/AIDS." The talk, with an introduction by Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Rita Anne Rollins Room in the School of Public Health.
Emory scientists and physicians are at the forefront of research efforts to develop effective drugs and vaccines against HIV and AIDS. The Emory Center for AIDS Research is an official National Institutes of Health CFAR site. More than 120 faculty throughout Emory are working on some aspect of HIV/AIDS prevention or treatment. Many of the scientists within the Emory Vaccine Center are focused on finding an effective vaccine against HIV, and Emory scientists are inventors of several of the most commonly used HIV/AIDS drugs.
The NAMES Project Foundation Inc. has housed the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Atlanta since 2002. The entire quilt weighs 54 tons and includes more than 47,000 panels dedicated to more than 91,000 individuals.
In the event of rain, "Quilt on the Quad" will be held on the fourth floor of the Woodruff P.E. Center.