The panel, which was made by Jeremey Trefney’s friends: Lorrie Morrison Snyder, Gale Arthurs and Ted Holdsworth, had been on display in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. along with the rest of the Quilt during the 1990s. Today, the Quilt has too many pieces to be displayed in its entirety in one public place, so many pieces have travelled around the world to be put on display.
"I think it's so important that the quilt visits UNC and that it goes to so many different places, because it really keeps the memories of so many people who have died of AIDS alive,” Trefney said. “It also serves as a reminder of both this tragic history and also as a reminder of the fact that the fight isn't over, because new panels continue to be added."
Lee Roberts, Student Organizations Program Coordinator for the Carolina Union, stopped to gaze at the panel, which hangs from the ceiling in the Union.
"I identify in the queer community, and there's a lot of emotions just looking at it and knowing sort of the journey that these people have taken," Roberts said.
UNC is a global pioneer in HIV research. Dr. David Margolis, director of the UNC HIV Cure Center, is one of many researching HIV treatment in the UNC community. He explained how far HIV prevention, medication and therapy, in addition to access to such treatments, have come.
“Now, therapy is essentially able to restore people to essentially normal health and a normal life span (by) taking a pill a day,” Margolis said.
Looking toward the future, Margolis said that the hope is to advance long-acting therapy for patients, such as injections that can last for months or implants that could last up to a year, instead of daily pills.
“There's still, of course, a long way to go," Margolis said. "There are millions and millions of people that are infected and hundreds of thousands of people being affected every year, but we're making advances and you can look hopefully towards the future and see that we should be able to deliver these advances over time across the world.”