AIDS Memorial Quilt

at APA
AIDS Memorial Quilt at APA

Quilt on Display at APA in Washington, DC

To commemorate World AIDS Day, the APA HIV/AIDS Programs is sponsoring a block of the AIDS Memorial Quilt ("The Quilt") which will be on display from Nov. 15 through Dec. 12, 2017.   

We invite you to view the display from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. EST., in the main lobby of the APA headquarters, located at: 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC, 20002, Admittance is free and no tickets are required.

2017 APA Display Theme 

This year’s display emphasizes the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among women and young women. Although much progress has been made in the United States regarding treatment and prevention, every year 50,000 Americans are still diagnosed with HIV. Nearly half of these individuals live in the South, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic has taken root in rural communities, and is one of the leading causes of death among black women.

Special Screening of “Wilhemina’s War”
Thursday, Nov. 30 at 12 p.m.
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

“Wilhemina’s War” is the story of Wilhemina Dixon, an uneducated daughter of sharecroppers and her fight for her family’s survival and against stigma. With five family members living with HIV, Mina is the caregiver for her daughter and teenage granddaughter born with HIV and now a victim of online bullying. Filmed over the course of five years, this film “bears witness to the resilience and determination of the human spirit in the face of tremendous adversity” (PBS).

2017 Display: A Girl from a Small City with a Big Heart for Those Around Her

Krista Ann Blake (1972-1996)Krista Ann Blake (1972-1994) was born on April 16, 1972 in the small town of Columbiana, Ohio. She was a beautiful baby, and she was mom and dad’s pride and joy. Krista is described as “the girl next door”; she could have been anybody’s daughter, granddaughter, niece or neighbor. Her life was "basic, white-bread American," said Newsweek Magazine. She was a member of the National Honor Society, scorekeeper for the Boys’ Varsity Baseball team, editor of the school newspaper and president of her 4-H club. She loved to read, ride horses and go shopping. She dated, loved going out with friends and loved to try new things. She was a ‘normal teenager.’

Unexpected news. In the fall of 1990, Krista eagerly awaited her first year at Youngstown State University in Ohio. She went to the doctor, complaining about a backache. Little did she know, this doctor’s appointment would change her life forever. At 18 years old, Krista was diagnosed HIV+, and at 19 she developed AIDS. Blake had been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, at age 16, by a hemophiliac boyfriend. "He knew that he was infected, and he didn't tell me," she said. "And he didn't do anything to keep me from getting infected, either."

He knew that he was infected, and he didn't tell me.

CDC campaign featuring Krista Ann BlakeLegacy. When Krista first heard the diagnoses, she felt that all her hopes and dreams had shattered. But, being the determined person she was, Krista chose to live her life with purpose, saying "I am living with HIV, not dying from AIDS."

Krista set her mind to her “goal in life," educating others so they “ not end up in the same situation I’m in”. National TV, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) campaigns, Channel One appearances, and personal appearances soon filled her time. Krista achieved her goal beyond her greatest expectation. She made a difference and touched the lives of many people across the United States and beyond. As her disease progressed, she continued to speak out about AIDS and her positive attitude never subsided, even when coping with hair loss and various illnesses. In speaking about Krista her grandfather said, " The dignity and strength with which she [Krista] bore her affliction inspires and sustains me..."

Most people think HIV is only a problem in the big cities. Unfortunately, I was one of those people.

Krista died at the age of 22. Krista did not realize the impact she had on people. Her courage, honesty and sensitivity will be remembered for years to come. She will be remembered for her legacy and service.

In a letter she wrote before she died, Krista left words of wisdom for one so young:

“You still have your life, so don’t waste it. Use it to do good things.”

AIDS quilt panel for Krista Ann Blake

Source: The NAMES Project Foundation, Newsweek Magazine, Guidance Associates

About The Quilt

Aids Memorial Quilt squareThe Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS pandemic. More than 48,000 individual 3 x 6-foot memorial panels — most commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS — have been sewn together by friends, lovers and family members. More than 94,000 individuals are represented on The Quilt, and it covers 1.3 million square feet. 

The Quilt reminds us that statistics are made up of real people like Krista Blake with families, careers and unique stories.

The Epidemic Continues: HIV/AIDS, Youth and Women

United States: More than 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in 2015 were youth aged 13 to 24. Women accounted for 19 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2015, and of these, 86 percent were attributed to heterosexual sex and 13 percent to injection drug use.

Globally: in 2016 there were an estimated 17.8 million women living with HIV (aged 15 and older), constituting 51 percent of all adults living with HIV. Of the total estimated 1.8 million new HIV infections globally, almost 43 percent were among women.

Learn more