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Stitching together memories

The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is on display in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom until Dec. 2 in recognition of World Aids Day Dec. 1.

Each quilt square represents one person who has died from AIDS. Friends and family members of those who have died from AIDS make quilt squares to reflect their loved ones' lives. Several pieces are stitched together to form panels.

"Some of them were real personal. You think, 'This guy was a friend and a husband.' The quilt makes AIDS a reality, not just some disease on television," said Denise Pillis, third-year Nursing student and Promoting Negativity member.

The entire quilt consists of 42,960 panels and displays 83,279 names of AIDS victims.

Quilt panels travel around the world every day of the year. The pieces on display in Newcomb were chosen randomly by the NAMES Project Workshop and Education Center located in Washington, D.C.

The University's AIDS education group, Promoting Negativity, teamed up with Charlottesville's AIDS Service Group to organize this year's presentation. The quilt also was on display last year.

"When you see the quilt, AIDS is more of a reality. [The disease] is not something you can ignore," Pillis said. In addition to viewing the quilt, students can make a tribute to World AIDS Day by participating in a prayer and vigil service at Mt. Zion Baptist Church tonight at 7 p.m.

Compiled by Christie McLaughlin