November 26, 2008

AIDS Quilt Displayed at UC San Diego in Recognition of World AIDS Day

The 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day will be recognized by the University of California, San Diego with a number of events and programs, including a public viewing of portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in the Price Center East Ballroom from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, December 1. The event is free and open to the public.

The UC San Diego display will showcase three sections of the Quilt that have emerged from San Diego organizations and individuals as they have responded to the AIDS crisis, from the early years of the epidemic through the present day. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a powerful tool for use in preventing new HIV infections, and the largest ongoing community arts project in the world.

In conjunction with the AIDS Quilt display, UC San Diego will sponsor a number of other events in recognition of World AIDS Day. A morning candlelight vigil will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Price Center East Ballroom for private reflection and remembrance. More specific visual arts and multi-media presentations will be ongoing throughout the day at the Quilt display in the East Ballroom, the Cross-Cultural Center and the Loft.

The San Diego County Office of Public Health will provide free, anonymous rapid HIV testing on Library Walk to UCSD staff, faculty and students between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The rapid HIV test detects HIV via oral swab; no blood sample is needed. Counseling services and further testing will be available for those with preliminary positive results. Appointments last 20-30 minutes. Most appointments for the rapid HIV tests on World AIDS Day at UCSD will be on a first-come, first-served basis. However, a limited number of reservations for appointment times are available by going to http://studenthealth.ucsd.edu/hivrapidtest.shtml

The keynote address for the day will be presented by 2:30 p.m. at the Loft by Dr. Joseph Caperna from UC San Diego’s Owen Clinic. Since 2003, physicians from the Owen Clinic has been serving HIV patients in one of the poorest provinces of South Africa, the “Eastern Cape,” also home to Nelson Mandela. Dr. Caperna will offer personal perspectives of his experiences from four trips to South Africa since 2005. Immediately following, the Arusha Project will present stories from students who also have traveled to Africa to address HIV/AIDS in the region. An open microphone will be available.

A group of young people from UCSD’s Youth HIV Council program will share their stories at 4 p.m. at the Loft. This powerful presentation will draw on experiences of youth living with HIV and those newly infected with HIV.

On display in the Loft from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. will be works from artists who are living with and have been impacted by HIV/AIDS, including John Carlos Keasler and Jae Hansen. The works include a photography exhibit, Survivors, highlighting the lives of diverse members of the community affected by HIV/AIDS. The artwork will be on display throughout the month of December.

The Cross-Cultural Center will host films continuously from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Communidad Room. The films discuss the impact of HIV/AIDS on specific communities nationally and internationally.

A Wall of Remembrance within the Price Center East Ballroom will be available for members of the community to personally reflect on the effects of HIV/AIDS on their own lives and those close to them. Similar to other walls, pictures and artifacts placed on or near the Wall of Remembrance by attendees cannot be returned.

For more information on this event, please go to http://worldAIDSday.ucsd.edu. For more information about the quilt, visit http://aidsquilt.org.

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