2021 marks 40 years since the first reports of what is now known as HIV. It also marks 40 years of progress in an epidemic that has seen dramatic success in treating the infection.
The UK AIDS Memorial Quilt is an irreplaceable piece of social history. It tells the stories of many people who were lost in early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that occurred from 1980s to 1990s. The quilt has been stored for several years now and without proper conservation, it may deteriorate and be lost forever. However a number charities have come forward under ‘The AIDS Memorial Quilt Conservation Partnership’ to raise awareness about this important artefact as well as create funds for its restoration so future generations can learn from it too.
This is the first time in UK History UK AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT has been exhibited inside a nightclub. The Nobel Peace Prize nominated AIDS QUILT commemorates lives lost to the AIDS pandemic during the 1980s and 90s.
Traditionally nightclubs were, and still are, a space where most Queer people feel safe enough to exist authentically.
This exhibit is part of a wider programme of work to be released mid-September – full information will be released then.
Serena Cavanagh, Health Promotion Lead, Sahir House, said:
‘We are very excited to be working with 24 Kitchen Street to continue our work to reduce the stigma that still surrounds HIV and HIV testing. The quilts enable us to reflect on our history but also look forward to our goal of ending new transmissions by 2030. Our HIV positive guest speakers who will be attending some of the events really bring HIV to life and help dispel the myths that still surround the virus.’
The selected panels of the quilt will go on display in partnership with Sahir House who have been at the forefront of HIV support and prevention in Merseyside since 1985.
Josiah Worth, Partnership Development Coordinator at 24 Kitchen Street, said:
‘This project was born from the rage and love of our Queer community’s unwavering resilience. Connecting with this priceless historical relic in a space created for us and by us, is reinforcing how Queer people can affect real change worldwide on a historic scale.’