By Rebecca Sheir
A bar in northwest D.C. is offering what organizers are calling the district's first weekly bar night for HIV-positive men.
Its called POZ: thats P-O-Z. Its creator, a party promoter named Jacob Pring, has himself been POZ for six years, and says dating can be difficult once guys learn you have HIV. He has a boyfriend now, but he says "over the course of six years, I've been turned down like 20 times because of the issue of being HIV [positive]," says Pring.
Pring says he aims to erase the stigma of being HIV- positive by giving POZ guys a chance to mingle and be themselves. Or as one regular attendee, David, puts it: "basically, to meet other people who are positive without having to worry about the whole disclosure thing that you normally have to when you're at a bar."
In fact, even POZ's DJs are POZ. Though negative folks are welcome too, like Cale Shah, a bartender who says he finds the mixer downright inspiring.
"Everyone's having a good time," says Shah. "They have a better outlook on life, and it rubs off on you."
POZ is held every Tuesday night at Motley Bar in northwest D.C.
Virginia's attorney general Ken Cuccinelli will face former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe in November to become Virginia's 72nd governor.