Herpes Activists Take Down NYC-Based Sex Educator's Harmful Content
After a NYC-based researcher and adjunct professor used social media to tell her audience they didn't need to disclose their genital herpes status, the herpes activists network, HANDS, launched a counter-campaign, and the content was later removed
Knowing the far-reaching public health consequences of non-disclosure, the herpes activists network, HANDS, called the educator in to private discussions, but when she remained adamant that her viewpoint was safe and in alignment with sex-positive safer-sex practices, they knew they had to offset the harm she caused with an educational and practical counter campaign, called "Make Disclosure Happen."
Two days after talks began with the NYC-based educator, and with the encouragement of the 25 activists and advocates who represent HANDS, the problematic posts were removed from social media. However, the Cornell alum and NYU adjunct professor maintains her position, stating that herpes disclosure is a "grey area," and she plans to expand upon her viewpoint at a later date.
About the "Make Disclosure Happen" campaign:
The "Make Disclosure Happen" campaign was created as a guide for anyone having sex, whether with a casual partner, long-term romantic partner, or multiple sexual partners. The campaign aims to encourage honest conversations around getting tested, disclosing a positive STI status, and becoming mindful of the reasons we're afraid to take responsibility for our sexual health. Avoidance of sexual responsibility leads to mental, physical, and ethical issues. By putting all of the facts on the table before having consensual sex, we reduce STI transmission and the risk of depression, anxiety, shame, and guilt that can result from transmitting an STI to an unknowing person.
"Make Disclosure Happen" gives you tips for how to address disclosure in easier and sexier ways so that our mindset around consent, stigma, and sexual responsibility shifts toward open and explicit communication instead of avoidance.
Download the Make Disclosure Campaign here:
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 activists represent 25 diverse individuals from 7 time zones and 5 different countries - folx across the lifespan, people of color, members of the Hispanic community, as well as 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, pod-casters, athletes, bloggers, and sexual health educators, all with one thing in common: we have herpes.
To learn more about HANDS, to interview our members, or to get involved, contact us here:
Follow HANDS hashtags on social media: #HANDS #HandsStands #AgainstStigma #StandWithHands
Jenelle Marie Pierce of TheSTDProject.com