POZ Magazine, the award-winning monthly magazine for people with HIV/AIDS, confirmed today that Regan Hofmann will become its new editor in chief. Hofmann, who is HIV positive, has long served as the author of the magazine’s Anonymous column. POZ magazine founder, Sean Strub, was instrumental in the review processleading to Hofmann’s selection.

Hofmann assumes her new role at a critical time in the changing landscape of HIV. After 25 years of HIV/AIDS awareness, the country faces still staggering increases in the numbers of new HIV infections. In 2005 alone, there were more than 40,000 new infections in the U.S., including higher numbers of women and people of color than ever before.

“Regan’s appointment reflects the evolving nature of the communities affected by HIV,” said Strub. "Her leadership and life experience will add new dimensions to POZ, help de-stigmatize HIV and bring its issues into the mainstream."

POZ magazine was founded in 1994 by people with AIDS (PWA) to promote the vision that surviving AIDS and living a full life with HIV is possible. POZ’s contributing writers and editors are journalists, treatment activists, playwrights, and poets. They break the stories that shape the debate-and confirm POZ’s preeminent position as thought-leader in the HIV community. Today, POZ is acknowledged as the leading education and service magazine of its kind.

“AIDS is preventable and largely survivable. People with HIV are living longer, healthier lives-and they have absolutely amazing stories to share with the world,” said Hofmann. "My goal is to tell their stories within the pages of POZ. The first step to dealing with HIV successfully is facing it. Fear of the stigma associated with the disease prevents people from facing it -- and discussing it. When HIV-positive people feel they can’t talk about HIV/AIDS, even in an anonymous environment, it puts them at greater risk." Hofmann, who contracted HIV as a result of heterosexual sex, hopes to use her position and personal story to broaden the magazine’s outreach to women and people of color, two of the fastest-growing categories of new infections, to raise awareness and bolster prevention efforts.

Hofmann’s message is clear: “When HIV-negative people don’t talk about HIV/AIDS they increase their chances of getting it. When HIV-positive people feel they can’t talk about HIV/AIDS, it undermines their ability to get what they need. Ignorance promotes the spread of the disease and endangers everyone. Today, it is not the disease that kills, but the silence.”

Hofmann comes to POZ with more than a decade of experience in communications, ranging from advertising and prime time television to her accomplishments in the publishing world. She most recently held the position of editor in chief for New Jersey Life magazine. She has also served as a journalist for Departures and Hamptons Magazine.

POZ is published by Smart + Strong, a division of CDM Publishing, Inc. The magazine POZ, a trusted source of information for the HIV community, is published 11 times per year with a circulation rate base of 150,000. POZ.com, the fastest growing site in the HIV community with monthly page views exceeding 3.5 million, offers daily news updates, treatment information, POZ Personals, POZ Mentor and more. Smart + Strong is also the publisher of AIDSmeds.com and Real Health, The Guide to Black Wellness. Real Health covers health topics of interest to the African American community including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and HIV.

For more information, log onto http://www.poz.com