Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Press Release
The HIV Cruise Retreat Selects CHAMP as This Year's Beneficiary

March 29, 2009

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- The POZ (HIV) Cruise Retreat, a one week social and educational event in its 5th year, recently selected the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP) as their beneficiary of funds raised in the upcoming cruise on Oct 10 - 18, 2009. Each year the Cruise Retreat donates a portion of its proceeds to support HIV organizations like CHAMP that are doing the work necessary to stem an epidemic inadequately addressed since it began more than 25 years ago.

"I am very happy the group selected such an important nonprofit organization as beneficiary; CHAMP engages grassroots leaders across the country and changes federal policy for real HIV prevention," said Paul Stalbaum, founder and manager of the retreat. "This October more than 200 heterosexual and gay people will gather together to connect with each other, have fun and raise money for a good cause," added Stalbaum. "The sense of bonding and camaraderie is truly amazing, and knowing we are supporting CHAMP's movement building for HIV prevention justice extends this feeling long after the cruise has landed."

"CHAMP does so much on a shoe-string budget," explained Josh Thomas, Manager of Research Advocacy. "We take no pharmaceutical industry funding and instead rely on private grants and donations to establish, train and mobilize an independent and powerful movement for HIV prevention justice. With our Network, CHAMP is ensuring the development of a coordinated and accountable National AIDS Strategy as well as a broad and effective range of HIV prevention options in the next decade. We're thrilled that the HIV Cruise Retreat project is supporting our work."

The Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP) is a national initiative building a powerful community-based movement bridging HIV/AIDS, human rights, and struggles for social, racial and economic justice -- which we call HIV prevention justice.

We are in the midst of a rare moment of opportunity and challenge in the United States, characterized by a politically engaged general public; a serious weakening of radically conservative forces; a rapidly changing political, economic and scientific environment; and a popular president who has pledged to make domestic HIV a priority and establish an unprecedented national AIDS strategy. Since 2003, CHAMP has won distinct and meaningful campaigns for change at the local, state and federal level, while building the organizing skills of people of color, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and young people. With its nationwide Network, CHAMP is poised to effectively respond to emerging opportunities for a new, just approach to HIV prevention in the U.S. Amplifying the voices of underserved populations, CHAMP will continue to unite across communities and generations for policies that address the inequality, bias and discrimination that are at the heart of the epidemic.

The Poz Cruise will support CHAMP while connecting its own great community. Oscar from New York describes his Poz Cruise experience: "Last October was my first cruise with the group. In the many years that I been poz, I had never had a feeling of belonging. Then I joined The NYC Sin group last year who encouraged me to go on the cruise. The whole experience was out of this world! Meeting so many people from all over the country and just sharing meals and activities with them was amazing. In my opinion, it is a great thing to do and to share with everyone. I made so many friends and learned a lot in the lectures. I already signed up for this year's cruise again -- I am counting the days"

"We are visiting beautiful islands in the Caribbean, each with its own distinct flavor," said Paul Stalbaum.

Set sail from October 10th -18th on the new Carnival Freedom from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan, St Thomas, Antigua, Tortola, and Nassau.

Rates begin at only $489.00 plus port taxes of $237.41. This amounts to about $90 a day per person and includes all meals, private social activities and informative educational lectures. As a special bonus, each cabin will get back $100 on board the ship to spend any way you choose. These rates are good only until May 10, 2009.

For more information or cruise tickets, please contact Paul at 1-800-735-0401 ext.241 or, or visit us on-line at for our gay guests and for our straight guests.

This article was provided by Nelson Vergel. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.