News Release: Research

Nov. 30,  2009

Emory to Host World's Largest Collegiate Display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt Dec. 1

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Emory University will host an 800-panel display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt on World AIDS Day, Tuesday, Dec. 1. Presented by Emory Hillel, the fifth annual "Quilt on the Quad" will take place on the Emory quadrangle from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and will be the largest collegiate display and the second largest in the world that day. In the event of rain, "Quilt on the Quad" will be held on the fourth floor of the Woodruff P.E. Center.

The opening ceremony at 11 a.m. will feature a keynote talk by Sandra Thurman, president and CEO of the International AIDS Trust based in Atlanta at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. She is one of the world's leading experts on AIDS issues, and in 1997 President Bill Clinton appointed her as director of the Office of National AIDS Policy. Thurman also is a former director of AID Atlanta.  Following her talk, members of the Emory community will read the names of each individual memorialized by a quilt panel on the quad.

"The AIDS Quilt helps bring more than statistics to the HIV/AIDS epidemic; the Quilt brings a personal, emotional touch to the individuals whose lives were lost," says Emory College sophomore Alexey Abramov, co-organizer of Quilt on the Quad for Emory Hillel. "Until you really see the panels laid out on the campus quad with your own eyes, it's hard to imagine how traumatic and devastating this illness truly is. The Quilt best illustrates how HIV/AIDS does not just affect the victims of the illness, but the toll burdened by their families, friends and communities too."

Emory scientists and physicians also are at the forefront of research efforts to develop effective drugs and vaccines against HIV and AIDS. The Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) 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 a vaccine developed at the Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center is being tested nationally in a Phase II clinical trial. More than 94 percent of HIV patients in the U.S. on life saving antiviral therapy take a drug developed at Emory University.

The NAMES Project Foundation, Inc., is the international curator of The AIDS Memorial Quilt, now headquartered in Atlanta. The foundation was established in 1987 as a non-governmental organization with the mission of preserving, caring for and using The AIDS Memorial Quilt to inspire action, heighten awareness and foster healing in the age of AIDS.

The entire quilt weighs 54 tons and includes more than 47,000 panels dedicated to more than 91,000 individuals. In November 2005, the quilt was designated as one of "America's Treasures" and was awarded a "Save America's Treasures" federal grant that has established a conservation and preservation program for it.

Originally posted on Nov. 23, 2009


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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