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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CALIFORNIA: Student at Vallejo's Touro University Sewing Up Efforts to Create Panels for AIDS Memorial Quilt
Sarah Rohrs
November 17, 2011
Times-Herald (Vallejo) (11.14.11) - Thursday, November 17,

Touro University student Ashley Bitar is leading an effort to sew panels for the AIDS Memorial Quilt as part of a World AIDS Day event in downtown Vallejo on Dec. 1. The daylong commemoration will take place in the 400 block of Marin Street near the Georgia Street intersection.

Bitar's goal is to send a block of quilt panels made by Solano County residents to the Atlanta-based NAMES Project Foundation, which manages the quilt. The quilt, which began in 1987, now measures some 1.29 million square feet. Spending one minute at each panel, it would take a viewer 33 days to see the entire quilt.

"A disease as scary as AIDS has a way of monopolizing a person's identity and their memory. The patches are a way for people to remember their loved one, not their loved one's disease," said Bitar, who lost her father to AIDS.

Bitar will collect the names of those who would like to make the three-by-six-foot panels and provide them with detailed information about the process. A local seamstress has offered to help, she said.

Bitar, who will graduate with a Master's in Public Health from Touro in December, also conducts youth-focused HIV education as a Planned Parenthood volunteer. For questions about the quilt project, telephone Bitar at Planned Parenthood at 707- 561-7790, or e-mail her at