First Ever Herpes Activists Network Launches on Herpes Awareness Day, Oct 13, 2018

The first ever herpes activists network (Herpes Activists Networking to Dismantle Stigma - HANDS), with over 12 individual activists and a growing list of member organizations, launches on Herpes Awareness Day - Oct 13, 2018
RALEIGH, N.C. - Oct. 13, 2018 - PRLog -- Herpes Activists Networking to Dismantle Stigma (HANDS) is comprised of more than 12 publicly "out" herpes activists along with a growing list of member organizations. This is the first time herpes advocates have come together to form a cohesive group geared toward promoting awareness and reducing herpes stigma.

HANDS advocates represent a diverse group of individuals - folx across the lifespan, people of color, the Hispanic community, and varying orientations and gender identities - all coming together for a shared interest: to amplify the voices of those who are stigmatized, ridiculed, and shamed. Our members include authors, doctors, YouTube content creators, artists, podcasters, athletes, bloggers, and sexual health educators, all with one thing in common: we have herpes.

Because herpes is commonly used as comedic relief throughout pop culture, television, and movies, people are afraid to share their status, yet millions of people are living with herpes. According to the CDC, nearly 800,000 people contract genital herpes (a life-long, incurable infection) every year, yet very few share their stories or talk publicly about the stigma they face. The CDC further states that those numbers, although already alarming, are likely much higher, as most herpes infections are not reported or diagnosed.

ABOUT the Herpes Activists Network:

Herpes Activists Networking to Dismantle Stigma (HANDS) envisions a world where people feel comfortable talking about herpes and have access to the information and services needed to support healthy and respectful choices, without facing stigma or discrimination.

The Herpes Activists Network, HANDS, is improving sexual health and well-being by encouraging productive and sustained conversations about living with herpes and promoting high quality herpes information and herpes support. Established on Herpes Awareness Day – October 13th, 2018 – HANDS is managed by The STD Project in conjunction with the Network Steering Committee.

HANDS is making living with herpes a common part of our global discourse by promoting high quality herpes services and resources. In bringing together organizations and individuals who have a stake in advancing herpes awareness, education, and acceptance, HANDS advances the overall sexual health of our world.

We believe that sexual health includes awareness of those who are living with herpes; the ability to enjoy intimate relationships that are fulfilling, despite one's herpes status; respecting the rights and choices of others as it relates to herpes risk and prevention; knowledge of and access to high quality herpes services and support throughout life; and understanding the family, community, and societal factors that influence herpes stigma.

To learn more about HANDS, to interview our members, or to get involved, contact us here:

Jenelle Marie Pierce of
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