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The Body: Pennsylvania: New Exhibit Looks at 30 Years of AIDS

Pennsyl-vania: New Exhibit Looks at 30 Years of AIDS
from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 12, 2011

A new multimedia exhibit examines 30 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, locally and nationally. “1981-Until It’s Over” runs from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.

Each year of the epidemic is spotlighted by a display panel comprising news highlights of that year. Included are historical items such as newspaper articles, photographs, and posters that trace the development of AIDS activism. A series of videos examines the work of local organizations and community volunteers, as well as the current state of the epidemic in Philadelphia. A history of the city’s AIDS Walk also is incorporated.

“We felt that we wanted to commemorate these milestones,” said Robb Reichard, executive director of the AIDS Fund, which created the exhibit. “We wanted to take a look back at where we were and where we are now.”

The display grew out of a timeline the AIDS Fund created five years ago to mark the 25th anniversary of the epidemic and the 20th year of the walk, said Reichard. “We don’t plan on just putting this away when it’s over,” he said. “This is something that’s going to grow and develop over the years.”

“We want it to be educational for young people who may not have lived
through this epidemic in the ’80s and ’90s, but it’s also a reminder for those of us who did of where we’ve come from,” Reichard added.

Visitors will have the opportunity to record their own personal stories, messages and tributes.

The exhibit will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. For more information, or telephone 215-731-9255.

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