JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In advance of Friday's World AIDS Day, parts of the AIDS memorial quilt have been put on display in Jacksonville's City Hall, according to WJXT's news partner WJCT Radio.
The quilt, which is made up of squares containing the names of victims of the disease, was first put on display on the National Mall in 1987.
As part of the ceremony marking the opening of the observations, the Lee High School choir sang a rendition of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and Mayor Lenny Curry officially proclaimed Friday as World AIDS Day in Jacksonville.
As of 2016, 675,000 people in the U.S. had died of AIDS since the epidemic began in the early 1980s. According to Florida Department of Health records, 6,000 people currently live with HIV in Duval County. In 2016, nearly 5,000 new cases were reported statewide, bringing the total in Florida to over 127,000 cases of HIV or AIDS, second in the nation only to New York. Last year, Duval County ranked third in the rate of new HIV cases in the state, well behind Miami-Dade and Broward counties.