NYC AIDS Memorial to host World AIDS Day programming, vigil

World AIDS Day at the New York City AIDS Memorial.
A previous World AIDS Day event at the New York City AIDS Memorial.
Donna Aceto

World AIDS Day will be recognized at the New York City AIDS Memorial on December 1 with a slate of programming throughout the afternoon followed by the 31st annual Out of the Darkness Candlelight Vigil and March.

The events, led by the New York City AIDS Memorial, will begin with a 1 p.m. press conference alongside with Housing Works, which fights HIV/AIDS and homelessness. The afternoon will continue at 2 p.m. when Housing Works will lead a four-hour presentations during which multiple speakers will read the names of New Yorkers lost to the epidemic. People in attendance are encouraged to join and read the names.

“The HIV community has been working diligently with New York City and State to bring an end to AIDS as an epidemic since 2014,” Housing Works CEO Charles King said in a written statement. “Each year we have gotten closer to that goal. But even as the number of new infections declines, it is imperative that we remember the thousands of friends and loved ones who lost their lives to this plague.”

Beginning at 5 p.m. free soup will be available thanks to a partnership between the New York City AIDS Memorial and Queer Soup Night, a volunteer-run organization. There will be food from LGBTQ chefs Telly Justice of HAGS, Tony Ortiz of Chile con Miel, and Woldy Reyes of Woldy Kusina.

The evening will continue at 6 p.m. with the candlelight vigil and then a 6:30 p.m. march, which will begin at the memorial. Folks will march from the memorial and continue to St. John’s Lutheran Church at 81 Christopher Street, where there will be speakers and performances.

Tapestry, a choral group, will wrap up the day’s events with a 25-minute performance of Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna.”

“As we begin our fourth decade of presenting our Out of the Darkness events for World AIDS Day, the need for AIDS awareness and prevention remains as urgent as ever, especially as we contend with the additional challenges of COVID-19 and MPV, which disproportionately affect the same communities at risk for HIV/AIDS,” said Brent Nicholson Earle, the founder and president of the American Run for the End of AIDS (AREA).