Elton John's charity lays an Aids memorial quilt in St Paul's Cathedral

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A quilt to remember the victims of Aids and HIV has gone on display at St Paul's Cathedral.

The Aids Memorial Quilt tells the stories of people whose lives were lost at the beginning of the Aids epidemic.

Inspired by a global project that started in the US, hundreds of people created panels in memory of loved ones who died in the UK from Aids in the 1980s and 1990s.

David Furnish, of the Elton John Aids Foundation, was at St Paul's to see part of the quilt go on display under the Dome.

The memorial brings a burst of colour to the cathedral floor.
The memorial brings a burst of colour to the cathedral floor (Victoria Jones/PA)

"The quilt is a reminder of how devastating this disease can be. Statistics can unfortunately become a bit meaningless," he said.

"The first time I saw the quilt I felt the human spirit in each person in every panel and then you start to multiply that in your mind ... thinking of the number of people this disease has taken and it's profoundly moving. It's a very potent reminder.

"It's also a reminder of how a society can pull together."

David said that while there had been "tremendous advances in medications and treatment" and "we're now down to one pill a day", there had been an "alarming rise in new infections in young people".

Elton and David at the foundation's New York benefit this year.
Elton and David at the foundation's New York benefit this year (Greg Allen/AP/PA)

"Young people don't have that concept of loss," he said.

Sir Elton John, supporter of the Aids Memorial Quilt, said in a statement: "The quilt, both here in the UK and in America, is an extraordinarily poignant reminder of just what the Aids epidemic has done to individual lives, to families and communities. This disease has killed over 35 million people around the planet.

"I'm so moved by the human spirit that weaves that tragedy into something powerful and beautiful to see and touch, and delighted that the Elton John Aids Foundation was able to support the collaborating charities and bring this project to public notice for World Aids Day."

Quilt panels will be on display as part of the Aids Quilt Trail across London taking place on December 3 and 4, which is one of a series of events marking World Aids Day.