Since its inception on 1 December 1988, World AIDS Day has played an important role in the ongoing global fight to remove the threat of HIV and AIDS. First diagnosed in 1981, the HIV and AIDS epidemic continues to be one of the world’s most significant public health issues, particularly in less affluent countries.
The main aims of World AIDS Day are to educate and remind us that HIV is still a very serious problem, with a focus on increasing awareness and promoting understanding to counteract prejudice.
For 2013, the theme of World AIDS Day is ‘Ending HIV by testing more, treating early and preventing infection’.
One of the most poignant reminders of the impact of AIDS is the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt, 97 of which are in the Powerhouse Museum collection. Made by partners, families and friends, each quilt comprises up to eight panels, each of which represents the life of one or more people who died from AIDS.
The Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt Project was launched in Sydney on 1 December 1988. While the quilt began as a memorial, it has become a valuable resource for promoting a community dialogue about AIDS. The quilts are an evocative record of those who died of AIDS and are available for online viewing .
Written by Anni Turnbull, curator