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 documentary:

Author: the JT Leroy Story

JT Leroy was a transgender, illiterate HIV-positive Southern writer who took the literary world by storm in the early 1990s. Or was he really a Jewish woman from Brooklyn? This documentary explores what was called the “greatest literary hoax of our time.” 


This documentary explores the increasingly blurred lines between drug culture and sex culture in modern London. This timely film shows how HIV and meth have transformed an entire gay community and what it means for the future of queer men’s livelihood. 


In the vein of Paris Is Burning, this documentary depicts New York City’s kiki ball scene and the youth of color who participate in it as a safe haven, with the leadership of Twiggy Pucci Garcon. HIV is an integral part of the film.

Last Men Standing

Eight men, all long-term survivors living with HIV, recount the last 30 years of their lives in this documentary that shines a light on the trauma that accompanies the graying of AIDS. 

Memories of a Penitent Heart

Filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo investigates the life of her uncle Miguel, who died of an AIDS-related illness. Through her investigation, she finds her uncle’s long lost lover — and learns a lot about her family’s history of secrets. 

Strike a Pose

This documentary profiles the dancers who became family while performing with Madonna during her 1990 Blond Ambition tour. Two of the dancers are living with HIV and one of dancers was lost to AIDS. The documentary dives into how all the dancers dealt with drug use, homelessness and the AIDS epidemic. 

Uncle Howard

Gay filmmaker Howard Brookner died of an AIDS-related illness only three days before his first big studio feature Bloodhounds of Broadway, starring Madonna and Matt Dillon, was to debut. In this documentary, his nephew Aaron reconstructs his life and his work. 

Wilhemina’s War

Filmmaker and former journalist June Cross follows Wilhemina Dixon, a South Carolina resident and the daughter of sharecroppers. She is HIV negative, but Dayshal Dicks, her granddaughter, was born with HIV. Over the course of five years, the documentary shows us the extent of the epidemic in rural and black communities in the South.

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