Submitted by Gilead Sciences
Nearly 36 years ago the AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed for the first time to memorialize and physically represent lives lost to HIV. Gilead has always actively supported the Quilt, and creating a new panel made sense for a company dedicated to helping end the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere.
Gilead’s Tribute to Those Impacted by HIV
The panel ideas were part of an employee-wide collaboration across the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, while the actual stitch work took place at Gilead’s headquarters in Foster City and at the Kite offices in Santa Monica. More than 100 volunteers, including some members of Gilead’s leadership team, dedicated much of their free time over the last 18 months stitching together a special section of the quilt to be dedicated to loved ones lost to the disease. Most of the fabric for the project was donated by an employee.
“It really has been an extraordinary project – It’s bigger than any of us,” says Gilead employee Teri Wielenga, the project’s “Chief Quilting Officer.” “Having a chance to bring this opportunity to our employees and let them honor their own loved ones by putting a panel together really called to me.”
Employees were encouraged to participate in any way they felt comfortable. Many chose to share names of their loved ones to be hand-stitched to the Quilt panel, while others honored them in a more discreet manner by placing names in a red pocket at the center to be privately remembered. The 12' by 12' panel was created to accommodate more than 200 names so that employees may continue to add to it ahead of World AIDS Day each year.
The Quilt Panel’s Public Tour
The Quilt panel was displayed for the first time at an internal unveiling this week before heading to the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco for World AIDS Day events. Gilead headquarters will welcome the panel back as a permanent installation after it tours in Mexico City; it's being brought there to raise awareness to Mexican communities that are disproportionately affected by HIV.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
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