Club Church is launching a new party this year: Hello Pozzums! A sexy party exclusively for HIV positive men. Church is aware of the fact that the concept could raise eyebrows and even turn out controversial and still it’s determined to go ahead. Why?
Richard Keldoulis & Anne Rodermond of Club Church: “People with HIV are still being discriminated in the nightlife and cruising scene. HIV positive men want a party where having HIV is the norm, where there’s no stigma attached to it. Club Church wants to create a space where HIV positive men can feel physically uninhibited, where one’s HIV status doesn’t create any kind of obstacle.”
But about the discrimination and the alleged stigma, aren’t you exaggerating?
Keldoulis: “Not at all! It might be subtle but therefore not less real. A lot of guys struggle with it, especially when they’re flirting and cruising. Should I say something immediately when I meet someone, or only when we’re about to have sex? Or right after? And what if it turns him off just to talk about it and he drops me? It happens! Before you know it, it ruins all the fun and at a party like Hello Pozzums! this whole issue simply doesn’t exist.”
But what kind of party will it be?
Rodermond: “It’s going to be a dance / cruise party like [z]onderbroek, and just like that party Hello Pozzums! has a dress code: in August we had the Baywatch edition, so everyone was in red swimmers or just in underwear or even naked. The cruise areas and dark rooms are in business as usual. And note: Club Church maintains the same house rules as for all other parties it organizes. So also at Hello Pozzums! we aim at safe sex and healthy fun, from HIV positive men’s perspective.”
Safe sex, so sex without a condom will not be tolerated at this party?
Keldoulis: “At a party that’s exclusively for HIV positive men the practice of ‘safe sex’ is slightly different from other situations. HIV positive men who take their medication and are tested regularly sometimes choose to not use a condom. That is in their case a deliberate choice that is not reckless per se. This is not a ‘bareback’ party, and like always there are free condoms and gloves and lube available all over the club, but if men want to fuck without condom they can do so after explicit mutual consent.”
And what about all the other nasty and sometimes dangerous STDs?
Rodermond: “We always point out to our guests the risks of STDs. For both HIV negative as well as positive men, the more promiscuous you are the more risk you run and the more important it is that you get tested very regularly. Especially hepatitis C is something you want to detect early.”
But one can’t know for sure whether someone is tested regularly or is taking his medication like he should...
Rodermond: “Indeed, you can’t. You are only 100% sure of your own situation.”
What does the name Hello Pozzums! mean?
Keldoulis: “It’s a joke. It’s something Dame Edna always used to say during her television shows, an Aussie greeting. We want it to express fun, something light-hearted. This party aims to skip all the heavy and complicated stuff we just discussed. Just dance and cruise, with great DJs and in pleasant company.”
The Sun Dance Party,
A positively sexy party on Sunday afternoon from 4 till 8 p.m.,
October 21, December 16