World AIDS Day 2023: Events across Australia

man with a red awareness ribbon for the fight against AIDS in his hand

On December 1, the community comes together to commemorate World AIDS Day to show support for those living with HIV and to remember the lives lost to AIDS.

For 2023, the theme is ‘Let communities lead’ and recognises that communities living with and affected by HIV have been essential for progress in the HIV/AIDS response.

With this in mind, this year’s theme is much more than a celebration of the achievements of communities. It is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles.

In Australia, recent data is promising and shows a downward trend of new HIV diagnoses.

Andrew Grulich, who heads the Kirby Institute’s HIV epidemiology and prevention program, said the data suggested that Australia could be virtually HIV-free within the next three to five years.

READ MORE: Shame, stigma and the slutty little pill: the PrEP experience

“We have a trendline which, if continued out into the future, would lead to a 90 per cent reduction of incidence – which is what the [United Nations AIDS/HIV program] defines as the end of AIDS as a public health threat,” Professor Grulich said.

Australian states commemorate World AIDS Day 2023

Across Australia, events and initiatives are being held to commemorate World AIDS Day 2023. With this year’s theme speaking to the power of community, there is no better time to find a local event to attend.

New South Wales

World AIDS Day Morning Tea- Sydney

All are welcome at Frog Hollow Reserve in Surry Hills for a free morning tea on World AIDS Day, hosted by the Albion Centre, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and Positive Life NSW.

Northern Rivers World Aids Day Symposium- South Lismore

What did HIV look like in the Northern Rivers? Reflecting on the roles of the Department of Health, organisations such as the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, the Lismore Sexual Health Clinic and volunteer carers from the community, this symposium gathers local community leaders to speak about their experience during the HIV epidemic in the region from the 1980s to the present. Held at Two Mates Brewing in South Lismore, this event is free to attend.

Big Banana- Coffs Harbour

Head to Coffs Harbour’s iconic ‘Big Banana’ monument as it is light up in red to raise awareness about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS and to remember those we have lost since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Paint The Town Red Dance Party at Two Mates Brewing- South Lismore


During the AIDS epidemic years, dance floors became spaces of healing, of commemoration, of resistance. On World AIDS Day, gather to acknowledge the impact of HIV in our communities and look forwards to a time when HIV is ended.

This is a ticketed event, but there is free entry for all Mob, for people living with HIV and all members of the Trans community. Additionally, if you’re experiencing financial hardship, email for ticket access.


Victorian World AIDS Day Community Forum- Doherty Institute

Free to attend, this panel discussion will be moderated by Sara Graham (Victorian Department of Health) with community leaders from the HIV sector who will discuss the topic “Equity for all”.

Thriving on the Big Screen- Federation Square

To commemorate World AIDS Day  2023, and raise awareness of U=U and HIV-related stigma, watch this inspiring filmed performance poem featuring seven remarkable women living with HIV.

Filmed in Australia, Thriving was a collaboration between seven women living with HIV and performance poet Fleassy Malay with filmmaker Ryan Lee Adams.

World AIDS Day Memorial- South Yarra

Doors will open at 5:30pm for refreshments with the memorial commencing at 6:30pm. Luke Gallagher will serve as MC, with guest speakers Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Honourable Ged Kearney, and Thorne Harbour Health Founding Member, Alison Thorne.

Performances from stage actor Stephen Mahy and songs from the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus will round out the evening. The heritage listed AIDS Memorial Quilts will also be on display.

This event is free to attend and is also available via Zoom. For more information, register online.


World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil- Brisbane

World AIDS Day serves as an important time to come together to reflect, remember, and look to the future.
The Brisbane Vigil will be held at Queensland Parliament. For more info and to RSVP

Mt Isa Breakfast- Mt Isa Homeless Hub


Held at the homeless hub, the team from Mt Isa Sexual Health, together with Arthur Petersen Diversionary Centre will offer breakfast to their communities together with information about World AIDS Day and where to get HIV testing and support.


Bundaberg Information and Red Ribbon Stall- Hinkler Shopping Centre, Bundaberg

Come by and chat with the Qclinic team, pick up a red ribbon, and bring some World AIDS Day goodies and sweet treats. The skilled team can answer lots of questions about HIV and help dispel any myths.

Sunshine Coast Remembrance Luncheon- Nambour

Held at the Nambour Tram Terminus building,  this free event invites the community and loved ones to share a light lunch to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS.

Places are limited, so please RSVP via this link:, email or call 0413 244 184.

Townsville World AIDS Day Remembrance Walk- Soroptimist Park

Reflect, remember and look to the future at the Townsville World AIDS Day Remembrance Walk. Meet at the World AIDS Day Memorial, Soroptimist Park.

Toowoomba Film Screening and Panel Discussion- University of Southern Queensland

USQ Toowoomba, together with QPP and the Inclusive Counselling Collective, invite you to join in a community lunch, a screening of A Kid Called Troy (1993), and a panel discussion to commemorate World AIDS Day. The screening is free to attend and will be held at the Allison Dickson Lecture Theatre, West Street.

World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil – Cairns


World AIDS Day serves as an important time to come together to reflect, remember, and look to the future.

The Cairns Vigil will be held at Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns City.

South Australia

World AIDS Day and HIV Awareness – Adelaide Railway Station

Help distribute red ribbons, raise awareness and engage the community in HIV awareness and issues.

Volunteers welcome, contact SAMESH Volunteer Coordinator

Community BBQ- Hindmarsh

This free community event is for People living with HIV and their friends, supporters, and allies.

Red ribbons and merchandise will be available for distribution and awareness raising.

The BBQ will be held in the Relationships Australia Courtyard at 49a Orsmond Street, Hindmarsh.


Coffee and Donut- Various locations across Tasmania

Get a free donut or coffee while you raise awareness on World AIDS Day!

TASCAHRD are giving away a free coffee or donut to the first 100 people to collect a red ribbon from one of our favourite cafes on World AIDS Day.

Coffee and Donuts are available at;

Baked Cafe, Moonah

Queens Fine Pastry, Hobart

Straight Up Cafe. Hobart

Bread + Butter, Launceston

Circle of Life Doughnut Co., Hobart

Australian Capital Territory

ACT World AIDS Day 2023- Canberra

This year, on World AIDS Day, Meridian will host an early morning event with brief words from a guest speaker, followed by tea and coffee. This event will provide an opportunity to gather as a community, show solidarity with people living with HIV, and remember those we have lost to an AIDS-related illness.

The event will be held at the AIDS Garden of Reflection, National Arboretum, Canberra.

World AIDS Day Pop-Up Stall- Canberra

Meridian will be hosting a World AIDS Day Pop-Up Stall in Garema Place, Canberra. World AIDS Day merchandise will be available to purchase at the stall. All funds raised on the day will be donated to the Trevor Daley Fund, providing financial assistance to people living with HIV in the ACT in times of financial hardship and/or to achieve specific goals and life aspirations. Friendly staff and volunteers will be present to talk about HIV and raise awareness.

Western Australia

World AIDS Day Morning Breakfast- Perth
Friday, 1 December 2023 8:00 am to 9:00 am

The community is welcomed to the annual community breakfast to commemorate World AIDS Day.
The event is free to attend, but registration is required for catering. Head online for more information.

AIDS Memorial Quilt- Perth
Friday, 1 December 2023, 9:30 am to Sunday, 3 December 2023, 5:00 pm

This World AIDS Day, the Western Australia Museum will be displaying the historically and culturally significant AIDS memorial quilt, a piece commemorating the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS and honouring those who have been lost to the epidemic. This piece will be on display from 1-3 December and will be free to view.

Information Stall- Bunbury
Monday, 27 November 2023, 10:00 am to Friday, 1 December 2023 3:00 pm

Drop by the Peer Based Harm Reduction Centre in Bunbury for information on HIV, testing, snacks and other merchandise.

In Conversation at The Western Australia Museum (Boola Bardip)- Perth
Saturday, 2 December 2023, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Come along to attend a compelling discussion at the Perth Cultural Centre. The panel discussion will shed light on the distinctive narratives of those openly embracing their HIV-positive status and what this has meant historically and in today’s world.

Northern Territory

Breakfast Fundraiser- Darwin
Saturday, 2 December 2023, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Kick off your day with a delicious breakfast and enjoy the entertainment from the talented local Sherri-Lee Volua, with MC Lisa Pellegrino adding to the fun.

Remember, every ticket you buy helps a great cause! We’re donating all the proceeds to NTAHC to help raise awareness about HIV and fight the stigma surrounding it.

The Reserve hosts a breakfast (formerly known as Smith St Social) at 22 Smith Street, Darwin City.

Tickets are available to purchase online.

Red Ribbon Stall – Darwin
Friday, 1 December 2023, 11:00 am to 1:30 pm

Pop into NTAHC Darwin in The Mall to purchase a red ribbon. This year, NTAHC has teamed up with a local business, The Wicked Collective, to bring you limited-edition handmade ribbon earrings and lapel pins.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch:

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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