Welcome to the 5th 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, 2019, and September 30, 2020.

Be sure to vote for your favorite nominees by the World AIDS Day deadline: Tuesday, December 1, 2020. 


Here are the nominees:

WINNER: Black Lives Matter

The BLM movement has been active since it was formally founded in 2013 as an international anti-racist protest and advocacy organization. In 2020, because of the protests surrounding the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmad Arbory and so many more, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained more strength and support. Adding to the cases of police brutality, diagnoses of HIV and COVID-19 cases show up disproportionately in people of color. The time to stand up for Black lives is now.

Trans Lives Matter

In just the first seven months of 2020, the number of transgender people murdered in the United States surpassed the total for all of 2019. This devastating and heartbreaking violence against members of our community prove how much more needs to be done to assure that trans people have access to safe, affordable housing, health care, laws protecting them from discrimination, and increased economic opportunity. Law enforcement also needs to be held accountable for not adequately protecting trans folks. Until the most vulnerable of us is safe, none of us is safe.

HIV Criminalization

In 2020, there are 37 states in the United States that still have laws criminalizing HIV on the books. Many of these outdated laws criminalize behavior without taking into account viral load of the suspect or even basic motive. These laws are still used to demonize LGBTs, sex workers, and people of color, and need to be modernized.


At a time when the government is enacting policies that roll back protections to the LGBTQ community, attempts to ban transgender people from serving in the military, threatening to end funding of programs essential to people living with HIV, and on and on and on, expressing your voice through voting is more vital this year than ever before. And with the COVID-19 pandemic that’s devastating the world, this year vote as though your life depends on it.