World AIDS Day Memorial Quilt reception and remembrance held at the Brooklyn Arts Center Annex
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – A World AIDS Day Memorial Quilt reception and remembrance was held at the Brooklyn Arts Center Annex, where many people came out to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Many attendees offering support to people living with HIV, and remembering those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
“It brings out the community. It’s a community that show compassion and love, support for those who are living with HIV or family members who have lost a loved one in the past. It’s a remembrance for those that we have lost in the past, and it’s an amazing educational tool,” Edward Duane Adams, director of SAGE Wilmington.
The LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast, Seeds of Healing, UNCW, NOVANT/NHRMC, and other community partners worked together to bring panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Wilmington.
Hosting a month-long series of events to commemorate Worlds Aids Day on December 1, with each event hoping to eliminate the stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS. .
“The thing about AIDS and HIV that a lot of people don’t know is that with testing and awareness we can actually do a lot more to give people a long healthy life, but we need to get tested. We need to spread the word, that this is something to not be afraid of,” said Caroline Morin-Gage, executive director of the LGBTQ Center.
“I have been HIV positive for over 40 years. I’m open about it, I have no problem addressing it to the community and discussing it. It helps, –I hope, people to come to me and ask me questions about what’s your story, how have you dealt with this. It would be like the culmination of what this is all about, and the awareness that we’re trying to provide,” said Adams.
Caroline Morin-Gage said the quilt coming to Wilmington can convey to community members with HIV/AIDS or family members close to those with HIV/AIDS that they are not alone.
“The love that was felt for these individuals who dies. It wasn’t that they were alone, it wasn’t that they were abandoned. They had people who love them, and the quilt lives on as an example of that love,” said Morin-Gage.
The full AIDS Memorial Quilt was unveiled in 1987 on Washington’s National Mall. It is a 54-ton tapestry with almost 50,000 panels commemorating more than 105,000 people, and is the largest piece of folk art in the world.