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Northwest D.C. Bar Offers HIV+ Bar Night

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Motley Bar, in northwest D.C., offers weekly bar nights for HIV-positive men.
Rebecca Sheir
Motley Bar, in northwest D.C., offers weekly bar nights for HIV-positive men.

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.

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