What’s known today as the AIDS Memorial Quilt was created in June 1987 when a group of strangers gathered in San Francisco to commemorate those who had died. The group’s work served as a foundation for the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which has since taken on a life of its own.
More than 44,000 individual memorial panels have been sewn into the actual quilt by friends, family members and loved ones of those who have been lost to the disease. Today the AIDS Memorial Quilt weighs an estimated 54 tons and is considered the largest piece of community folk art in the world.
The goal of the quilt is to bring awareness to how massive the AIDS pandemic really is, and to bring support and healing to those affected by it. Another goal is to raise funds for community-based AIDS service organizations to support AIDS prevention and education. To date, millions of dollars have been raised, and the effort continues to this day.
Please take a moment and sign BET.com's virtual AIDS quilt.
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(Photo: Chuck Kennedy/MCT/Landov)