“Our story will be remembered. The Hemophilia Memorial will ensure we never forget those we loved but lost.”
The National AIDS Memorial’s new Hemophilia Memorial is a beautiful stone crescent built into a hillside and features stunning flagstone and a bench for reflection. The Hemophilia Memorial is engraved with over 200 names of members of the Hemophilia community who have been touched by AIDS and is landscaped with new trees, grasses and other plantings. Names engraved include members of the hemophilia community who lost their lives, in addition to their family members and friends. Names also include community leaders and activists to honor their tireless work to ensure that America’s blood supply became safe.
Hemophilia is a genetic condition that prevents a person’s blood from clotting. In the 1980s, the hemophilia community’s lifeline was a medicine—clotting factor—derived from a large and diverse blood supply. It was only after people with hemophilia began to be diagnosed with HIV that they realized the blood supply was tainted. Eventually, 90% of people with severe hemophilia were infected with HIV from contaminated factor, and cries for help were met with silence from drug corporations and the federal government. People with the disease were left to fight on their own, and have served as the guardians of the nation’s blood supply ever since.
The National AIDS Memorial partnered with the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Hemophilia Federation of America to build the hemophilia memorial feature in 2017. “The tragedy that struck this community is one that cannot be forgotten. It is our duty to find a way to provide a place for people to remember those who lost their lives, and this memorial does just that. We are honored to be able to partner with organizations that share this mission.” —Val Bias, CEO, National Hemophilia Foundation