International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

Sunday 21 - Sunday 21 May in St Matthew-in-the-City, Tāmaki Makaurau
6pm - 7.30pm

Presented by Body Positive

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is a time for all of us to remember the many lives lost to AIDS. It is an opportunity to honour those who dedicated their lives to helping people living with and affected by HIV and continue to mobilise our communities in solidarity. People living with HIV started the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in 1983 and since then there have been thousands of events organized across the world by community-based organisations, from motorbike rallies by women living with HIV to uplifting ceremonies in places of worship and workplaces. Such events have helped raise awareness about HIV and more importantly have helped break down stigma within our communities.

Check out the Facebook event page here. 


2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the first people in Aotearoa New Zealand to be identified as living with AIDS. In that same year (1983), the first AIDS Candlelight Memorials took place in San Francisco and New York City.

To mark these significant anniversaries, teamed up with filmmaker Peter Duncan to create an AIDS Candlelight Tribute featuring audio from previous Candlelight Memorial services combined with film footage shot in Wellington during 1993. 

The film footage includes the Beacons of Hope memorial, Love Parade (part of the Devotion festival), an unfolding of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Michael Fowler Centre, and a performance from Arthur Tauhore who passed away in 1993. Audio includes Tīwhanawhana, the Glamaphones and speakers Richard Tankersley, Chanel Hati, Trish McBride, Grant Robertson and Kjel Griffiths.

Thank you to Peter Duncan,, the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt and those who feature in the video. Special thanks to Ron Irvine, Gerard Marychurch and the team for allowing the Wellington memorials to be recorded and shared. To Welby Ings - thank you for allowing details of your beautiful quilt panel for Kevin Todd (1954-1998) to be reproduced.

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