National AIDS Memorial launches virtual quilt exhibition honoring Black lives lost to AIDS

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A virtual art exhibition debuting Sunday, on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, is building public understanding of the virus's impact on Black Americans.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Early days of AIDS crisis in San Francisco in 1982

The National AIDS Memorial has curated dozens of blocks from the Memorial Quilt that tell the stories of Black Americans whose lives were affected by HIV and AIDS.

"This virtual exhibition shares stories of hope, healing and remembrance to honor Black lives lost to AIDS," said a Saturday statement from John Cunningham, Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial. "Our hope is that it helps raise greater awareness about the ongoing struggle with HIV and the impact systemic barriers have to positive health outcomes, particularly among the Black community."

RELATED: AIDS Memorial Quilt volunteers using extra fabric to sew masks

"They're going to see children, men, women, some famous people," says National AIDS Memorial board member Lonnie Payne. "Some activists who have done things even though they were living with HIV/AIDS to move our dialogue further along to say how insidious HIV and AIDS has been to the Black community."

RELATED: What we can learn about the COVID-19 pandemic from the 1980s AIDS crisis

The exhibition is online through March.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.