DEADLINE EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 8 — Welcome to the 6th Annual POZ Awards, spotlighting the best of HIV 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, 2020, and September 30, 2021.

This year’s POZ Awards are a little different, since many of our regular categories went unfilled due to challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stage, movie theaters, music venues, and artists of all kinds were affected by this newest virus, and cultural awards reflect that. Even the Tony Awards had to eliminate categories this year. So, in that regard, you can think of this year’s POZ Awards as being just like the Tonys.

Be sure to vote for your favorite nominees by the World AIDS Day deadline: Wednesday, December 1, 2021. 

Here are the nominees:

U Equals Fucking U

From the brain and, ahem, other parts of him, gay adult film star Kayden Gray gives us a super sexy, funny and informative romp (or roll?) in this two-part film. Part porn, part romance, U Equals Fucking U pairs Gray with avant garde performance artist Bishop Black to navigate truly hot sex with educating viewers about HIV and the fact that someone living with HIV, on successful treatment with an undetectable viral load, cannot pass the virus sexually, a concept known as Undetectable Equals Untransmittable (U=U). To help get the stigma-busting message across, RuPaul’s Drag Race break out star Bianca Del Rio is also on hand to hilariously add her two cents on the differences between HIV and AIDS, along with tips and tricks on etiquette for conversations around the issue. Gray also issued a PG version (sexless, alas) for folks who just want the information. U=U has never been so hot!

A Day Without Art 2020: Transmissions

Visual AIDS, the organization that supports the use of art in the fight against HIV/AIDS, while also supporting artists living with HIV, commissioned six new videos exploring the impact of HIV and AIDS beyond the United States. Jorge Bordello (Mexico), Gevi Dimitrakopoulou (Greece), Lucía Egaña Rojas (Chile/Spain), Las Indetectables (Chile), Charan Singh (India/U.K.), and George Stanley Nsamba (Uganda) created films showing how the HIV experience is shared or vastly different in communities across the globe. These films are dynamic and wildly creative, showing that Visual AIDS once again challenges our senses and our emotions when it comes to HIV stories. And to expand the reach of these films, they were also made available subtitled in English, French, Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Polish, and Japanese.

The More You Can Ho

Those crazy guys at Skipping Boyz Productions did it again! From the team that brought you the HIV musical comedy web series, Merce, came a sexy and funny series of completely shareable public service videos featuring the characters from the series. Based on “The More You Know” television spots in the 1990s, this series of seven short vids and one song (the big finish!) gave morsels of HIV information, while staying in the delicious comic world of Merce. The main message of the series was the more you know about HIV, health, and prevention, the more you can go out and ho. We mean, have a good time. Well, you know what we mean!

Vote: POZ Awards 2021 / Best in Visual Arts