(Photo courtesy of Aidsquilt.org.)

The Cougar Health Awareness Team (CHAT) invites community members to submit requests for specific AIDS Memorial Quilt panels to be included in the December Washington State University display.

Panel requests to memorialize individuals can be submitted at www.hws.wsu.edu by May 17.

CHAT is bringing 160 panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to WSU in an effort to generate HIV/AIDS awareness and education within the Pullman community.

The NAMES Project Foundation first displayed the quilt in 1987, made of 40 panels. Each panel of the quilt stands three feet by nine feet, (the size of a human grave) representing the life of an individual lost to AIDS. Today the quilt consists of 46,000 panels that pay tribute to more than 88,000 victims of AIDS.

Members of CHAT hope to personalize the AIDS pandemic for the local community by introducing the humanity behind the somewhat silent devastation. In addition to viewing the AIDS Memorial Quilt December 3-7, the week will include other HIV/AIDS awareness events and educational opportunities surrounding the battle against the deadly virus.

“We hope that bringing the AIDS Memorial Quilt to WSU will be a great eye-opener for the Pullman community,” said AIDS Memorial Quilt WSU Project Coordinator, Kelsey Martin. “The quilt is a visual representation of the reality of destruction caused by AIDS and we are honored to host its display at Washington State University.”

For more information about the WSU display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt or other ways to get involved, contact Cathy Bergley at Health and Wellness Services, (509) 335-5759 or cbergley@wsu.edu.

Related links include www.hws.wsu.edu and www.aidsquilt.org.