This social group meets six times a year: February, April, June, August, October, December. It’s made up of a bunch of HIV-positive gay men (and some friends) meet up in Soho and go on a pub crawl. In many respects this is entirely ordinary: there are hundreds of gay men living with HIV drinking in the gay bars of Soho every evening. What’s different is that at the Poz Pub Crawl we will be there as openly HIV-positive gay men. And we’ll be wearing red.
Although about one in eight gay men in London is living with HIV, and the numbers are continuing to rise, the visibility of HIV has decreased in recent years. That means that many gay men believe that they don’t know anyone who has HIV, and myths and misconceptions about HIV are given the opportunity to flourish. By being out there and visible, we have the opportunity to acknowledge that people with HIV are the people standing shoulder to shoulder with you in our bars and clubs – and we hope that by doing this we may challenge the stigma that many men living with HIV encounter. More than that, judging by the way that the our first couple of year of pub-crawls have gone, we can expect to have a fun, sociable and supportive evening.