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Howe launches friends of the aids quilt project



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NEWS Brian Howe

RELEASEDeputy Prime Minister Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services BH235/92 15 October 1992

HOWE LAUNCHES FRIENDS OF THE AIDS QUILT PROJECT

Federal Health Minister Brian Howe today commended community organisations and individuals working with the government to develop and run education and community care programs to combat HIV/AIDS.

Mr Howe was launching the "Friends of the Quilt" project - a fund-raising project designed to continue the work of the AIDS Quilt and allow the Quilt to tour and meet its memorial and educational objectives.

"The Quilt is a a symbol of hope for the future and a reminder that, by working together, the impact of HIV/AIDS can be minimised," he said.

"This is a good opportunity to commend the community organisations and individuals who have worked with the government to run education and community care programs."

Mr Howe launched the "Friends" project at Parliament House with friends, family, volunteers and members of the affected community.

"The human face of the epidemic is clearly presented in the Quilt," he said.

"The Quilt and 'Friends of the Quilt' project also form a tribute to those people who have borne the burden of HIV and AIDS - the carers and volunteers."

Mr Howe called on individuals and organisations to become "Friends of the Quilt" and subscribe to the projects - for "the price of a cup of coffee a week."

"I also call on the commercial sector to support projects to benefit people affected by HIV/AIDS," he said.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt consists of fabric panels prepared by family, friends and loved ones of people who have died of HIV related illness.

The Quilt has grown from 35 to 400 panels over the last four years.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Justice Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Commonwealth-State Relations

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"The Quilt is a moving symbol of the loss of human life caused by HIV and AIDS over the years," Mr Howe said.

"It is a symbol of support for the family, friends and loved ones of those who have died."

Mr Howe paid tribute to the entertainment and arts community which had been especially supportive of AIDS benefits and had raised thousands of dollars for AIDS projects.

"The media should also put their weight behind this project - we need to keep HIV and AIDS high on the public health agenda," he said.

For further information; Ross Gardiner, Mr Howe's Office (06) 277 7680 Barry Telford, HHCS (06) 289 6911.