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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 24, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 08
Arts & Entertainment
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Letters

AIDS QUILT'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY, STILL A LONG WAY TO GO

The AIDS Quilt is having its 25th anniversary. There may not be many left who remember the early days of the AIDS crisis of the '80s. I, however, do. It was like an unknown plague striking the Gay community.

In my early days I did visitations to Swedish Hospital, which had the whole floor - the fifth, and later the 12th - dedicated to AIDS patients.

It was pitiful seeing these young faces and knowing then what their ultimate destiny would be.

At that time there was only one debilitating drug, AZT, that would slow the virus. As time went on, more successful drugs were introduced, and now, at great expense, people with AIDS can live a lengthy, healthful life.

I still have my Names Project T-shirt, and recall all the memorial quilt pieces being made, one at a time, until the quilt weighed hundreds of pounds and took up a huge amount of storage.

It is a sad memorial, but heralding much success for AIDS treatments today.

I feel the ongoing nonchalance about AIDS has made some people very careless. AIDS isn't going away soon, contrary to the ongoing search for a cure.



PS: These organizations wouldn't be what they are today without dedicated people like Joe Eisenhauer and Josh Joshua, past directors like Carol Sterling and Susan Dunshee, and many volunteers and generous contributors who gave half a million dollars through my Jars in Bars and Businesses campaign to the Chicken Soup Brigade. On my birthday on the 19th, hitting 84 years young, I recall it all like it was yesterday.

Activist Leonard 'Lenny' Larson

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