Parliament hosts iconic AIDS quilts 30 years on from Government Tombstone adverts

Thirty years since the outbreak of the HIV epidemic, the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on public display in Westminster Hall to commemorate the lives of those lost.

The exhibition “People and Parliament: Remembering 30 Years of HIV and AIDS” will see six of the quilts go on display, to look back at how far we’ve come with HIV since the 1980s, but how much more there is still left to do.

Sahir House is proud to be part of the coalition of charities that have worked to display this irreplaceable piece of international social history.

The UK quilt panels will be on display in Parliament for one week only from 27 November, including World AIDS Day on 1 December, as part of an exhibition looking at parliaments role in the HIV epidemic, from the iconic 1987 tombstone adverts through to present day home HIV testing.

The UK AIDS Memorial Quilt is an irreplaceable piece of international social history and tells the stories of people whose lives were lost at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

Hundreds of individuals made quilt panels in memory of loved ones who had died from AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s, inspired by a global project that started in America.

The historic display has been organised by a coalition of charities including George House Trust, Terrence Higgins Trust, Positive East, The Food Chain, Positively UK and Sahir House, with support from the All Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV – the oldest APPG. The charities hope the exhibitions will help remember those lost and raise awareness of HIV to younger generations.

HIV no longer stops those living with the virus leading long and healthy lives – but there is still much to be done to tackle stigma, stop transmission and diagnose the 1 in 6 who are unaware they have the virus.

To get involved on social media using the hashtag #AIDSQuiltUK

Stephen Doughty MP (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV/AIDS said:

“The exhibition is both a remarkable visual testimony to the thousands of lives lost to AIDS and an important reflection on Parliament’s role throughout the HIV epidemic from the iconic 1987 tombstone adverts through to latest innovations such as HIV home testing.”

“The UK AIDS Memorial Quilt is an irreplaceable piece of international social history which tells the stories of people whose lives were lost particularly at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. This exhibition must serve as a reminder of how far we have come in treating HIV/AIDS in the UK and the important role which Parliament has played and continues to play in ending the epidemic, but also how much more remains to be done in the UK and globally.”

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