SAN FRANCISCO (CRON). World AIDS Day in San Francisco will be celebrated with several events at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park on Wednesday and Thursday, including one honoring Clive Jones, who founded the AIDS Blanket in the 1980s, press reports . release.
The Grove is the only federal memorial to those who died of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Since the AIDS epidemic was first identified 41 years ago, 675,000 Americans have died, including more than 25,000 in San Francisco alone.
The human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS has been largely controlled with drugs since the mid-1990s, although it is sometimes difficult to access. But as KRON4 previously reported, 72 San Francisco residents died in 2020 of HIV-related causes, 70 in 2019, 73 in 2018, and 83 in 2017.
Jones, 68, will receive a lifetime award from Memorial Grove. He will also perform at the two-hour event starting Thursday at 11:00 am. The event will also feature Tyler Thurmeer, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and John Cunningham, CEO of the memorial. The press release said Mayor London Breed had been invited but would not attend. The event is free, RSVP is not required.
There are three talks on the program:
- “Reflections with Clive Jones and 35 Years of the Quilt”
- “The state of the epidemic today with leaders on the front lines”
- “Young leaders make an impact”
This will be followed by the reading of names and a shared lunch.
Created in 1985, the quilt is the world’s largest piece of folk art, consisting of 54 tons of stitched fabric panels, each of which commemorates a person who died due to AIDS-related complications.
The night before, on Wednesday, November 30, at 19:15, a gala concert will take place in the grove. Hundreds of guests will take part in the closed gala event “Light in the Grove”, and ticket sales will go to support the programs of the memorial.
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“Each year on December 1, the world comes together to celebrate World AIDS Day,” the press release says. “This important day of awareness remains a time to reflect on our worldwide response to HIV/AIDS and to honor the lives of those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. On this day, organizations reaffirm their commitment to supporting the well-being of people with HIV, as well as those at risk of infection.”