Eve van Grafhorst

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Eve van Grafhorst

For many New Zealanders, little Eve van Grafhorst was the face of the frightening new AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

Born prematurely in Australia in 1982, she received multiple blood transfusions and became
HIV-positive after being given contaminated blood. Hysteria about the new disease led to Eve being forced out of pre-school in 1985 and her family eventually had to flee their home in small-town New South Wales and settle in Hastings in New Zealand in 1986.

Eve's case became a major media story as she was welcomed into a new life in New Zealand. Her first day at school in Hastings is reported on in this radio news item from 1986.

Eve became an AIDS poster child and helped shift public attitudes towards the disease and
HIV-positive people. She met with many celebrities and travelled around New Zealand and overseas spreading awareness about AIDS.

Sadly, anti-retroviral drugs, which now make a normal life possible for millions of HIV-positive people, were not yet available, and Eve died from an AIDS-related illness in 1993 at the age of 11, mourned by millions of New Zealanders.

Find out more about Eve van Grafhorst:

Watch documentaries about Eve's life on NZ On Screen: All About Eve and Eve – Gloria's Story.  

See Eve's panel on the New Zealand AIDS Quilt.

Image: Still from TZP146605 Eve – Gloria's Story.

Catalogue Reference 56565

Year 1986

Credits

Newsreader: Maggie Barry, Reporter: Rory Newsom, Morning Report, RNZ National

Excerpt: 00:01:20

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