Welcome to the 7th Annual POZ Awards, spotlighting the best representatives 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, 2021, and September 30, 2022.


A Day With(out) Art 2021: Enduring Care

Visual AIDS, the organization that supports the use of art in the fight against HIV and AIDS while also supporting artists living with HIV, commissioned seven new videos exploring care in the HIV and AIDS community. Released last World AIDS Day, December 1, the videos pose the questions: When it comes to HIV, what does it mean to endure care? How can care be sustained through decades of the crisis? Filmmakers Katherine Cheairs, Cristóbal Guerra, Danny Kilbride, Abdul-Aliy A. Muhammad and Uriah Bussey, Beto Pérez, Steed Taylor, and J Triangular and the Women’s Video Support Project created works based on these themes. The short films explore ideas that include the long-term effects of medications, the potential harm from pharmaceutical companies and nonprofits and the valiant work of caretakers and community. Visual AIDS annually produces videos to mark World AIDS Day and A Day With(out) Art, and they never fail to be compelling, creative and thought-provoking. Enduring Care premiered at the Brooklyn Museum and was screened at over 120 museums, art institutions and universities around the globe.

i need space

Created by Afro-queer, HIV-positive playwright and filmmaker Donja R. Love, i need space is a series of short digital videos capturing frank conversations with Black and brown queer men. The videos explore topics like loneliness, isolation, relationships, love and loss and were presented by The New Group Off Stage and streamed on the platform Broadstream. The work’s title refers to the need of all the characters as well as all of us to have space to heal and what humans are willing to do to gain that space. Love, a brilliant and unique writer in our community, conceived the seven-part series during the 2020 lockdown, when so many of us were confined to conversations and connection in virtual spaces. Sometimes explicitly sexual, sometimes emotionally raw, always authentically truthful, i need space presents characters that we don’t always get to see or hear.

Instagram Stories of Aging with HIV

Presented by GLAAD, Native Son and Gilead Sciences’ HIV Age Positively initiative, these Instagram stories celebrate people over 50 living with HIV. More than half of the people living with HIV in the United States are 50 and older, and these stories highlight how people aging with HIV are thriving. The videos were released weekly leading up to World AIDS Day 2021 and featured a diverse selection of folks: Michelle Lopez of HIV Treatment Works in New York City, the Reverend Claude Bowen of Thrive SS in Atlanta, Jeff Berry, formerly of Test Positive Aware Network in Chicago and now executive director of The Reunion Project, Kirk Myers, the founder and CEO of Abounding Prosperity in Dallas and Bamby Salcedo, MA, the president and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition in Los Angeles. Their inspiring stories prove that with treatment adherence and health care, people with HIV can live long and joyous lives. It’s a message that can’t be repeated enough.

NoiseFilter Animated Video Series

What’s not to love about an animated and cheeky HIV education video series? Produced by NoiseFilter, a health education platform based in Louisiana, three short videos break down dense medical concepts into cuddly and captivating tidbits of information. The videos explain prevention through PrEP and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and what it means to have an undetectable viral load in an accessible way and are available on the NoiseFilter website as well as on YouTube. Fierce and adorbs!

Tub Talks With Damon L. Jacobs

Licensed family therapist, national PrEP and harm reduction champion and sex-positive HIV advocate Damon L. Jacobs launched this series of interviews on YouTube last year. What makes these videos extra exciting is that the mental health professional and his guests shed their clothing and conduct their conversations while sharing a bubble bath. Because all of them are naked, they are also more vulnerable and have real and honest conversations about everything, including sex, love, connection, HIV, gender and more. Jacobs has interviewed major players in the HIV community, sex workers and friends, and the conversations are frank, funny and smart—not to mention a little titillating.