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International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2019

Audio from the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, held at the Tararua Tramping Club in Wellington on 19 May 2019. The theme of the service was: intensifying the fight for health and rights. Parts of the service have not be included in this recording. A special thank you to the organisers and speakers for allowing us to record and share this memorial service.

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  • 0:00:15 - Waiata, Tiwhanawhana
  • 0:03:35 - MC Lee Eklund
  • 0:04:36 - Message from the Governor-General of New Zealand (read by Bill Logan)
  • 0:06:30 - Message from the Prime Minister
  • 0:07:58 - Topic speaker, Trish McBride
  • 0:17:14 - HIV Supporters Panel - Richard Tankersley, Matt Sharpe, Abby Leota, Alex Anderson and James Rice-Davies
  • 0:42:52 - Youth speaker, Fer Dossaints
  • 0:50:35 - Presentation of candles
  • 0:52:41 - Music reflection, Glamaphones
  • 0:54:05 - Open floor, Bill Logan and co
  • 0:57:05 - Closing
  • 0:57:48 - Kevin Haunui,Tiwhanawhana
  • 0:58:34 - Waiata, Tiwhanawhana


The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial held in Wellington, New Zealand in 2019 commemorates those affected by HIV and AIDS and serves as a significant event to rally community support, foster global solidarity, and educate the public. It underscores the necessity of leadership from individuals living with HIV, emphasizing the importance of education and social interaction.

The event provided a platform for various speakers, including representatives from political parties and community leaders, to share their support and visions. Among the highlights was the reading of a letter from the Governor-General of New Zealand. The Governor-General's message reflects on the inaugural AIDS candlelight march in San Francisco over three decades prior and the global activism evolved from it. It acknowledges the progress made in HIV treatment in New Zealand but notes the disparity in other parts of the world. The letter also underscores the persistent need for advocacy and ongoing efforts to combat stigma and discrimination.

The New Zealand Prime Minister sent a message emphasizing the commitment to continue efforts to reduce HIV diagnoses further. The message also highlighted the importance of community organizations that work tirelessly in healthcare, advocacy, and education concerning HIV and AIDS.

The memorial spotlighted personal experiences, particularly from Trish McBride, who shared anecdotes from the 1990s. They drew attention to individual stories related to HIV and AIDS, focusing on the significance of public acknowledgment, education, and the advocacy work by community members, which paved the way for accepting and addressing HIV and AIDS within society.

A panel discussion featured various health and support service providers addressing questions from the public about HIV and AIDS awareness, treatment, and the associated stigma. Discussions included the impact of the U=U campaign (Undetectable equals Untransmittable), advancements in medication and therapies, legal protections, and initiatives to encourage more extensive and inclusive testing among couples and individuals. The panel indicated a progressiveness in attitudes and treatments, yet they also pointed out the existing gaps and challenges, highlighting the need for continued efforts towards reducing stigma and enhancing awareness.

Contributions from organizations such as the NZAF (New Zealand AIDS Foundation), Body Positive, and the Positive Speakers Bureau spotlighted ongoing efforts to reduce HIV-related stigma, educate the community, and offer support to those affected by HIV.

A reflective moment involved members of the community presenting candles symbolizing solidarity and support for nations struggling with human rights issues and deficiencies in HIV/AIDS support and medications. Attendees were invited to participate in a memorial by placing names on a tree and lighting candles, memorializing and celebrating the lives of friends, partners, and family members.

Hayden reflects on the progress made in combating HIV and AIDS, acknowledging the decrease in new diagnoses but noting the continuing need for support and advocacy.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

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Record date:19th May 2019
Location:Tararua Tramping Club, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004562).