The Key West AIDS Memorial is the site of the island’s annual World AIDS Day remembrance on Dec. 1. LARRY BLACKBURN/Keys Weekly

The Key West World AIDS Day service will take place at the AIDS Memorial, at the foot of White Street and the Edward B. Knight Pier, on Wednesday,  Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. The service begins with a candlelight memorial march from Key West City Hall down White Street to the memorial.  Marchers will assemble at 4:30 p.m. 

The traditional reading of the names of all of those previously remembered on the AIDS Memorial will be done by a roster of community leaders. Thirteen new names will be added to the memorial this year. Candles will be provided.

Destiny Montgomery, former Fantasy Fest queen and board member of Friends of the AIDS Memorial, will emcee the service. The keynote address will be delivered by Stephen Aube, board member of AH Monroe and of Friends of the AIDS Memorial. Key West poet laureate Flower Conroy will recite an original poem. Joan Higgs of the Metropolitan Community Church will give an invocation and the Rev. Donna Mote of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will give the benediction. 

The memorial was expanded in 2018 to accommodate more names. There are more than 1,263 names engraved.

Key West was the first city in the United States to have an AIDS Memorial.

After the service, attendees are given the chance to call out the names of remembered friends, family and companions.

The service and organization of the names is conducted by Friends of the AIDS Memorial.  For more information about the names listed on the memorial, including a search engine, visit

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day.

World AIDS Day reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away. here is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

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