07/25/2012 04:49 pm ET

AIDS Memorial Quilt; The Names Project Shares Religious Communities' Panels Of Hope

During the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., sections what is known as the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be shown around the city

According to The Names website, the quilt was started in June of 1987 with the goal of creating a memorial for those who had died of AIDS, and to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the disease. 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.

Many of the panels have been created by religious groups who shared their memories and love for the departed. We have created the above slideshow in honor of the lives that have been lost, and in hopes for a future without AIDS.