New York City has never had a permanent memorial dedicated to the thousands of individuals lost to HIV/AIDS in the last four decades, most of whom were gay and bisexual men. That changes today, though, as a memorial located at West 12th and Greenwich Avenue had a public dedication ceremony this morning, timed with World HIV Day.
The memorial itself is located next to St. Vincent’s Hospital, the final home for many gay men in the ’80s who succumbed to the virus. The park where the memorial is located has also been renamed the New York City AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle.
According to Gay Star News, Chris Tepper and Paul Kelterborn led a grassroots campaign over the last five years to create the AIDS memorial, and have set it up as a nonprofit. The memorial cost $6 million, $4 million of which came from the city, the rest from private donors.
Billy Porter acted as emcee for this morning’s dedication, which also included a performance by the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.
— NYC Gay Men’s Chorus (@nycgaychorus) December 1, 2016