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Local Organization displays custom quilts in remembrance of those who have died from AIDS

Mina Wahab

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- World Aids Day is Thursday and one organization is using quilts to remember those who have died from the disease.

It’s been four decades since Keith Coffman-Grey lost his partner to AIDS, but it’s a time in his life he will always remember.

“Within a year he went from very healthy person to having 24 hour care at home and eventually dying in less than a year,” said Keith Coffman-Grey.

Keith, who is President of Quilt Project Gold Coast, has made it his mission to educate people about the virus, saying that in today’s modern world AIDS is not a death sentence.

Keith and his current partner Neil Coffman-Grey say that education is critical in stopping the spread of HIV.

“AIDS is still here. It’s killing dozens of people in the Gold Coast each year,” said cofounders of Quilt Project Gold Coast Neil Coffman-Grey and Mark Lager.

Project Gold Coast designs quilts to represent each person who has lost their life to AIDS and honor a lost generation of queer people.

Wednesday afternoon, students, faculty, and community members came to UC Santa Barbara to view the quilt art exhibit and learn about the AIDS epidemic.

“We’re keeping the quilts in the community so that we can show them and educate people around both counties Santa Barbara and Ventura that it is still out there and we wanna remember those we have lost to AIDS,” said Keith Coffman-Grey.

Since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, 84.2 million people worldwide have tested positive for HIV and 40.1 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

The quilts will be on display Friday starting at 2:30 p.m. at Ventura City Hall.

A vigil will be held there at 5:30 pm.

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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