October 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the inaugural display of the
AIDS Memorial Quilt on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With so
many years passed, and the invention of medications allowing people to
live with HIV/AIDS, it is easy to forget the devastation that this
outbreak caused. The AIDS Memorial Quilt was created to give a visual
reference to the number of people lost to this disease, and to act as a
reminder of the events that caused so many lives to be lost.
This exhibit explores Dallas’ response to the AIDS crisis, and the LGBT
community’s commitments to educating and caring for those affected. The
Dallas and Fort Worth Chapters of the NAMES Project Foundation played a
major role in keeping the issue of HIV/AIDS in the minds of the public,
while also helping those who had lost loved ones to heal.
This exhibit pulls information and artifacts from UNT Special
Collections’ LGBT Archive, and so focuses on telling the story of gay
men affected by HIV/AIDS. It is important, though, to remember that
HIV/AIDS can be transmitted to anyone, and the victims of this disease,
those represented in the AIDS Memorial Quilt, are of all ages, genders,
races, and sexual orientations.