Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 25 2012 @ 2:03pm

The AIDS Quilt is now online:

Due to the massive scope of the epidemic, as well as the popularity of the project, the Quilt in its entirety is so large that it can no longer be displayed in a single place—which is why the Quilt-keeping NAMES Project Foundation (in partnership with Microsoft Research, the University of Southern California, and others) has digitized it. Users may now use Microsoft Bing mapping technology to view and zoom around the entirety of the Quilt online; and for more context, you can check out this new interactive timeline that details the history of AIDS alongside the development of the Quilt.

And as the AIDS Conference takes place in America for the first time in so very long (because the HIV travel ban made the US an international pariah for decades), it's worth remembering the photographers who grappled with the subject when it was at its horrifying worst. Frank Fournier's photography of AIDS orphans in Romania still shocks:

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 1.52.04 PM

David Binder's tear-sheets on the early needle exchange program in Boston, pioneered by Jon Parker (below) also brings the continuing HIV epidemic among IV drug-users to light:

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I wish I were there. The Quilt remains a staggering monument (my own appreciation is here), and to see it again on the Mall must be a spine-chilling experience for those who remember –

And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.

(Photos courtesy of Contact Press Images)