The Good Fight: POZ Celebrates 15 Years with a Rallying Cry

| 3/31/2009 6:25:17 PM

POZ March 2009POZ, an indispensable magazine of “life, health, & HIV,” turns 15 this year—and to mark its anniversary, the publication is donating all advertising revenue from its forthcoming May issue to the Denver Principles Project, a new initiative from the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) that seeks to dramatically increase the group’s membership and, as it follows, political and social clout.

In its March issue, POZ asks people to (re)commit to the cause:

The last eight years have seen a dramatic reversal of what our movement accomplished in the early years:

  • Science-based HIV prevention programs have been gutted in favor of abstinence-only or abstinence-until-marriage programs. The result? Hundreds of thousands of new HIV infections, mostly among young people of color.
  • Hysteria-driven prosecution of people with HIV for failing to disclose their status has helped create an image of so-called “AIDS Monsters” in the media and further fueled the criminalization—and stigmatization—of people with HIV. The result? We are increasingly marginalized and portrayed as vectors of disease who must be controlled and regulated rather than as what we are: human beings struggling with a life-threatening disease who deserve compassion, human rights and adequate, affordable health care.
  • While the United States has technically lifted the specific ban on HIV-positive people from entering the country, HIV remains on the list of contagious diseases that can be used to prohibit people with HIV from immigrating to or visiting America. The result? The nation that represents itself as a beacon of freedom is, instead, a leader in discrimination, setting a shameful example of intolerance and ignorance.

Now, it is time for all people who want to end the AIDS epidemic to recommit to the spirit of The Denver Principles—thus ensuring that the voices of people with HIV are heard.

In addition to donating May’s ad revenue, POZ also will republish the original Denver Principles manifesto, which, drafted in 1983, articulated the foundation of the self-empowerment movement for people with HIV/AIDS. To get involved in the Denver Principles Project, visit NAPWA online.

More to read/love: POZ is an Utne Independent Press Award winner for health/wellness coverage. Its editor in chief Regan Hofmann recently guest blogged for our daily best-of-the-web extravaganza, Alt Wire.

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