The POZ Awards spotlight the best representations of HIV/AIDS in media and culture. The POZ editorial staff selects the nominees, but the winners are voted most popular by POZ readers.

Eligibility is performed, published or accomplished between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016. Deadline for voting has been extended past World AIDS Day, which is Thursday, December 1, by one week to Thursday, December 8.



Here are the 2016 nominees for best celebrity advocate:

Mykki Blanco  

Though not necessarily a spokesperson, Blanco is one of the few out HIV-positive people in the entertainment business who is creating art and speaking about life with HIV. He regularly talks about his status on Twitter, where he also dissects and explores racism in the gay community and his own feelings. 

Miley Cyrus  

The singer founded the Happy Hippie Foundation in 2014 to support homeless youth, LGBTs and other vulnerable populations. This year the group partnered with MAC AIDS Fund to help transgender people living with HIV in Los Angeles and San Francisco get medical care and housing. Cyrus has previously promoted Viva Glam products from MAC Cosmetics. All proceeds from Viva Glam products go to the MAC AIDS Fund. 

Ariana Grande

The singer collaborated last year with MAC Cosmetics to promote Viva Glam products. All proceeds from Viva Glam products go to the MAC AIDS Fund. Grande returned this year to support new Viva Glam products.

Danai Gurira  

She’s the star of one of the most popular shows on television, but she’s also speaking up about HIV/AIDS in Africa. A Zimbabwean native of South Africa, The Walking Dead’s Gurira recently debuted a documentary at New York City’s humanitarian Global Village Festival about the Nyumbani Village, a sustainable community for HIV-positive people.

Prince Harry  

The prince continued his mother’s HIV advocacy work this year by taking a live HIV test, showing everyone how easy it is to find out their status. It has garnered over 2 million views since it first aired. 

Alicia Keys  

As co-founder of the AIDS group Keep a Child Alive (KCA), Keys performed at the 13th annual Black Ball, an annual KCA fundraiser that has raised nearly $30 million to date. The event was live-streamed for the first time in its history. She has performed at each Black Ball, which showcases various artists.

John Legend  

Following the likes of Lady Gaga, Mary J Blige and Bono, Legend became the spokesperson of Belvedere’s (Red) campaign, which seeks to bring an end to AIDS in this generation. 

Javier Munoz  

The performer used the opportunity of his permanently taking over the lead role in the Broadway megahit Hamilton to publicly disclose in The New York Times that he’s living with HIV. He subsequently discussed HIV throughout the media.

Daniel Pintauro  

After revealing his HIV-positive status to Oprah, Pintauro was thrust into the spotlight and began to do the media rounds. He also came out as a recovering meth addict and withstood a barrage of invasive questions from the cast of the The View

Charlie Sheen  

In November 2015, Sheen became the most visible person living with HIV in America. Studies have already concluded that his disclosure did more to spread information about HIV than any single event in the past few years, driving HIV Google searches for days.

The POZ Awards in Media and Culture

Read about the nominees:

Best Celebrity Advocate

Best in Film or Television

Best Actor or Actress in Film and Television

Best Documentary

Best Web Series

Best in Performing Arts

Best in Visual Arts

Best Literature, Fiction

Best Literature, Nonfiction

Best Journalism