Views on the AIDS Epidemic: Conclusion, What’s Next?

When public figures contract AIDS they are treated the same as those people living normal lives. Some, like Magic Johnson, publicly confessed and although it took time, he has now been accepted again. Those who live normal lives may be accepted as well, the dependency is based on their loved ones. Pastor Charles was given an entire quilt by himself because he made deep connections with so many people from different states. If they were only given the option of one panel all of their ideas wouldn’t have fit, as some of the panels on his final quilt had to be condensed as well. Parker Jr. lived a well-respected life as a Tar Heel’s fan would enjoy filming the basketball team no matter if the game was at home or away. Surely enough, if everyone had the time and skill set as those who sewed Pastor Charles’ quilt instead of there being “more than 48,000 individual 3-by-6-foot memorial panels” (Lateef), there would be over 48,000 individual 12-by-12-foot panels.

It takes a lot of time, energy, dedication and supplies to construct a panel so with the lack of those four things one could not achieve a 12-by-12-foot panel. That doesn’t equate to the person who died from AIDS has less respect compared to Pastor Charles, it could just be the maker either didn’t have one or a few of the above. There are six required steps and the seventh step is a donation offer that’s not required but greatly appreciated. Someone who is more influential because they participated in things such as preaching, playing a nationally known sport, and or recording one of the best college basketball programs in the league may have more funding compared to someone who only worked a day job and didn’t have as much of a social life. That funding could come from family and friends, and the time necessary to put into structuring the quilt. When making a panel, you would like it to be creative and express the likes and sometimes dislikes of the person you’re memorializing. When making an entire quilt it is best when there are more people helping because each person could add onto it based off their special views and interactions with their loved one.

When someone dies, no matter what the cause of their death is, they are leaving behind someone who loves and cares for them. Although the NAMES Project is specifically for those who died from AIDS, surely if they had a foundation that took quilts for the lost life of any cause there would be millions to billions of panels. This is because we all come into contact with others who may favor us, even normal living beings. The difference is public figures are known to more people because of what they do, they are usually seen in the media often or known as a leader in what they do. This makes them more likely to gain sympathy from a larger number of people compared to those living normal lives who don’t come in contact with nearly as many people. We’re still not where we need to be with this epidemic, but if more people took a stand as Parker Jr., Magic Johnson, and Pastor Charles did we would be walking into the right direction of prevention. We need more spokespeople to give the youth and adolescence tips on prevention and if they are infected the next steps needed to still live healthy.