Welcome to the 2nd Annual POZ Awards, which spotlight the best representations of HIV/AIDS in media and culture.
The POZ editorial staff selects the nominees, but POZ readers choose the winners.
Eligible nominees were active or were presented, published or produced between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017.
Be sure to vote for your favorite nominees by the World AIDS Day deadline: Friday, December 1, 2017.
Here are the nominees:
Our private medical records are not always secure.
Several troubling instances of a security breach of confidential medical records have occurred in the last year, including an insurer revealing the HIV status of thousands of patients and a hospital faxing sensitive HIV information to a workplace. HIPPA guidelines exist for a reason.
HIV testing and treatment are often used as cynical entertainment.
Daytime television has become littered with pop medicine, and some of it is inaccurate, damaging, and stigmatizing. Whether it’s Charlie Sheen promoting an extremely suspect HIV cure on Dr. Oz or troubled young singer Aaron Carter receiving his HIV test results live on The Doctors, HIV is often treated as entertainment for the masses. It’s irresponsible.
People living with HIV continue to be criminalized.
Every week it seems, alarmist news reports surface of another person living with HIV arrested for “intentionally” exposing someone to HIV. These reports rarely take into consideration the meaning of being undetectable or whether or not any harm was caused — or to what degree if so. Whatever the specifics, the criminalization of people with HIV is wrong, pure and simple.
Political policies endanger our health care and HIV research.
The national political landscape is frightening for people with HIV and our allies. The hostile environment includes repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) and replace it with legislation that would deny Medicaid and insurance to tens of millions of people; deep proposed budget cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services; and disturbing slashes in National Institutes of Health research just as so many promising breakthroughs are in sight. Our activist groups are working overtime to stem the constant threats.
Affordable drug pricing and access to generics are still beyond our reach.
Despite campaign promises of affordable medications for everyone, the current administration has accomplished nothing to make lifesaving medications more accessible to un- and underinsured people. Meanwhile, an alarming lawsuit by HIV treatment activists claims that pharmaceutical giant Gilead has gamed the system in an effort to delay a generic version of its popular drug Truvada.