This year our own Piedmont Care, Inc. is celebrating 25 years of serving our community through education and healing. It’s hard to believe that after all of this time there are still those who believe in the stigma of HIV and AIDS or who deny that their lives could be affected by this. The reality is that HIV / AIDS are still very real and those effected by the virus are still very much in need of care and love.
Piedmont Care, Inc. reached out to us asked that we share an exciting announcement regarding this year’s World AIDS Day and the events surrounding that date this year. We could not be prouder of our partners and friends at Piedmont Care, Inc. for all of the work they do and compassion they spread.
For 25 years, Piedmont Care, Inc. has served more than 1,600 people living with HIV and AIDS. We are still the only organization in our community that is 100% dedicated to supporting people living with HIV and ending the AIDS epidemic. Over the years, we have evolved our services, reach, and impact to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients and community. In 2004, we started the Community HIV Prevention Initiative and since that time we have educated thousands and provided free HIV testing and counseling to more than 1,500 people.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt Comes to the Upstate
Piedmont Care, Inc. is thrilled to host a panel of The AIDS Memorial Quilt with our partners at Spartanburg Methodist College. This 12-by-12-foot panel will be on display in Ellis Hall Gallery of Spartanburg Methodist College from November 18 through December 1 (World AIDS Day).
“Today the Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS pandemic. More than 48,000 individual 3-by-6-foot memorial panels – most commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS – have been sewn together by friends, lovers, and family members. The Quilt has redefined the tradition of quilt-making in response to contemporary circumstances. A memorial, a tool for education and a work of art, the Quilt is a unique creation, an uncommon and uplifting response to the tragic loss of human life.” – The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
This Quilt display is being sponsored by local families and activists who wish to honor their friends and loved ones who have died. Barbara Lanthier Colvin is memorializing her brother, George Michael Lanthier. Phillip Hudson is remembering his friends, Michael, Tracy, Butch, and so many others. An anonymous donor is remembering, George Claudius Cameon. Their stories will be shared in both written and oral formats during
the AIDS Memorial Quilt display.
We are excited that our own memorial panel is coming home to honor the more than 1600 people we have served. The Piedmont Care memorial panel was designed and created by artist, Sabrina Myers, in 2011.
“I want to help raise awareness for this disease that has come to light in my lifetime. Piedmont Care does so much work in the area of public education and personal aid, when the call went out for a banner, I had to respond.”
Kris Neely, professor of art and director of interdisciplinary studies program at Spartanburg Methodist College will curate the AIDS Memorial Quilt display and accompanying art show.
“We are honored to be hosting the AIDS Memorial Quilt on Spartanburg Methodist College’s campus and are grateful for the work that Piedmont Care has done and continues to do in our region. HIV has often been approached with fear and shame in our communities. We believe it is incredibly valuable to share the stories of local people. We need to remember and celebrate the good work that is being done right here where we live. Art is a great way to start those conversations.”
The Legacy of Ryan White
We are honored to bring the story of Ryan White to Spartanburg as told by his mother and activist, Jeanne White-Ginder. Ms. White-Ginder will speak in the Gibbs Auditorium of Spartanburg Methodist College on November 22. The Ryan White CARE Act, named for Ryan, is the premier federal program serving people living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. and funds most Piedmont Care, Inc. services.
One week before Christmas in 1994 Jeanne White-Ginder was told that her son, Ryan, a hemophiliac, had contracted AIDS from a tainted blood product. Although the doctors gave him only six months to live, Ryan’s outlook was positive and he was determined to live a relatively normal life. He wanted to stay in school and Jeanne was determined to give her son his dream. What seemed like a small wish turned into a nightmare when the White’s hometown, frightened and uneducated about the realities of AIDS, abused the family and refused to allow Ryan back to school. Jeanne turned to the court system and the news wire grabbed the story. Ryan became a reluctant international celebrity and Jeanne became an educator of the masses.
World AIDS Day 2019 is December 1
World AIDS Day is a day of worldwide solidarity to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Observances serve to strengthen the global effort to face the challenges of the AIDS pandemic. Each of us has something to contribute – from standing up against stigma and discrimination to educating ourselves about HIV prevention Wear a RED RIBBON on World AIDS Day to show your support for efforts to end the AIDS pandemic.
- 14% of people in the U.S. living with HIV/AIDS do not know they are infected with the virus. (CDC)
- S.C. ranks 11th in the nation for AIDS case rates (SC DHEC)
- The South accounted for about half (52%) of all new AIDS diagnoses in 2017. (CDC)
- About 39,000 people in the U.S. are infected with HIV each year. (CDC)
- African Americans comprise more than 68% of the annual number of HIV/AIDS cases in S.C., while representing only one-third of the state’s population. (SC DHEC)
- People ages 13 to 24 account for 21% of all new HIV infections in the U.S. (CDC)
- Routine HIV testing is recommended for everyone in the U.S. ages 13-64, regardless of perceived risk. (CDC)
To find out more about Piedmont Care, HIV/AIDS, and how you can help: www.piedmontcare.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.hiv.gov, and (864) 582-7773.
Check out these events organized by Piedmont Care, Inc. in celebration of their 25th Anniversary and in honor of World AIDS Day 2019 on December 1st
November 18 – December 1
AIDS Memorial Quilt Display and Art Show at Ellis Hall Gallery, Spartanburg Methodist College
The AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display as well as art honoring Piedmont Care and World AIDS Day will feature local artists: Nancy Corbin, Brandi Dice, Kris Inman, Jeremy Kemp, Scott Neely, Melvin Nesbitt, and Frankie Zombie.
You may visit Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm and weekends from Noon until 6:00 pm. The gallery is closed November 28-29 for Thanksgiving.
November 19 | 7:00 pm
Art Show Opening Reception at Ellis Hall Gallery, Spartanburg Methodist College
Celebration and Remembrance: 25 Years of Piedmont Care
November 22 | 11:00 am
The Legacy of Ryan White by Jeanne White-Ginder at Gibbs Auditorium, Spartanburg Methodist College Sponsored by Avita Pharmacy
November 25 | 8:30 am until 7:00 pm
Extended HIV Testing Hours at Piedmont Care, 101 North Pine Street, Suite 200, Spartanburg, SC 29302
Free and confidential testing. Walk-ins welcome. Appointments encouraged. (864) 582-7773
November 26 | 7:30 am until 9:30 am
Red Ribbon Coffee Talk at Downtown Deli & Donuts, Spartanburg
Pick up your Red Ribbon, purchase your favorite coffee / breakfast and visit with Piedmont Care.
December 1 | 6:00 pm
Remembrance and Folding Service – World AIDS Day, Davis Mission Chapel, Spartanburg Methodist College
Join us as we remember those lost to the AIDS pandemic, encourage those living with HIV and support those who are affected. Solemn Quilt Panel folding service following in Ellis Hall Gallery.
Visit Piedmont Care on Facebook to get more details on all of these important events.