SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Hundreds gathered at the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco Saturday to dedicate the Hemophilia Memorial Circle to honor the people in the hemophilia community who died of AIDS, organizers said.
The memorial consists of a new stone circle and landscaping with benches that will have the names of the dead and the names of family members, friends and supporters of those who died.
The memorial is meant to pay tribute also to people who have worked on behalf of the hemophilia community to make sure America's blood supply is safe and the tragedy that occurred never happens again.
In the 1980s clotting factor was a lifeline for people with hemophilia, which is a genetic condition that prevents a person's blood from clotting.
A person can bleed to death if their blood fails to clot.
The clotting factor in the 1980s was derived from a large, diverse blood supply, which was tainted.
Eventually 90 percent of people with severe hemophilia were infected with human immunodeficiency virus also known as HIV.
"Each name inscribed here will tell a story of a person who was loved, and who was gone too soon," John Cunningham, executive director of the National AIDS Memorial, said in a statement.
Organizers said that cries for help to the government and drug companies were met with silence and people were left to fight for their lives on their own.
Since then, hemophiliacs have served as the guardians of the nation's blood supply, according to organizers.
The memorial circle brings together the hemophilia and gay communities, bound by common stories of fear, prejudice, loss and hope.
The memorial circle was a partnership between the Hemophilia Federation of America, the National AIDS Memorial and the National Hemophilia Foundation.
For more information about the memorial and how to have a name inscribed, go to