The Key West AIDS Memorial was built in 1997, and at its opening the Memorial included 730 names, which were residents in Key West island. Key West was battling an epidemic that only a few people understood at the time around the country. Hundreds of people with AIDS around the country, moved to Key West as a refuge.
By the end of 2020, the Memorial had the names of 1240 people who had died from complications due to AIDS in the Florida Keys.
The site was the first municipal AIDS Memorial in the world and serves as a tribute to the accepting and generous community of Key West.