Master of Public Health student, Ms. Courtney Maiehofer, took the lead on raising awareness for HIV/AIDS on Ohio State’s campus. With her direction, the College of public health extended the observation of World AIDS Day for the duration of the week.
In memory of those who lost their lives to the disease, several panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt hung in the halls and lobby of Cunz Hall throughout the week. The AIDS Memorial Quilt was conceived in November of 1985 by long-time San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones who asked individuals to lay placards with the names of friends and loved ones who had died of AIDS on a wall. Since that time, over 48,000 panels have been added to the quilt mentioning more than 94,000 names.
Also on display are Ms. Therese Frare’s photographs of Mr. David Kirby, a victim of AIDS whose final moments were captured by Ms. Frare. These controversial photos were released in Life Magazine in 1990 and forever changed the conversation surrounding the AIDS epidemic.
“World AIDS Day is a beautiful opportunity to raise awareness about HIV, but also a day to reflect on the history and timeline of the epidemic. As a community, we are able to pause and renew our commitment to the work we do all year round, while celebrating the lives of those living with HIV and those who have passed away,” said Ms. Maiehofer.
On Wednesday, December 3 Ms. Catherine Kobacker spoke about the HIV/AIDS community in the Hospice care system. Ms. Kobacker is a longtime advocate and activist in the Columbus community and has traveled around the world to work with local practitioners to learn their methods, exchange ideas and share best practices of care for people facing cancer, AIDS, and other terminal illnesses.