SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The AIDS Quilt returns to San Francisco this weekend for the first time in a decade. Several dozen panels will be on display Sunday at several locations in the Castro District.

Gay activist Cleve Jones came up with the idea of making a quilt to remember victims of the AIDS pandemic at a 1985 rally. At the end of the gathering, protestors put names of dead friends and loved ones on the walls of the old federal building.

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“I said to myself, ‘that looks like a quilt,’ and immediately thought of my grandma and my great-grandma, and it was such a wonderful, powerful symbol that I knew it was perfect,” said Jones.

Today the Names Project, now based in Atlanta, displays some of the 90,000 pieces of the quilt all around the world. Jones is no longer involved but he’s still an AIDS activist.

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KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“The single most important thing for people to understand today is that treatment equals prevention,” said Jones. “If we can eliminate the remaining obstacles to treatment, we have a shot at ending this disease.”

Some 40 Sections of the quilt, each with the names of 8 people who died of AIDS will be on display in the Castro district for a week beginning this Sunday.

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