Herpes Activists Network, HANDS, Announces Herpes Stigma Day During April's STD Awareness Month
On April 24th, 2019, the herpes activists' network, HANDS, will launch the 1st ever "Break the Stigma Day" taking place globally, alongside STD Awareness Month
Hand-picking a day out of the STD Awareness Month messaging helps leverage the attention that STDs already garner in April for STD Awareness Month toward reducing the negative and often severe psychological ramifications that come with a herpes diagnosis. Because herpes is not a life-threatening condition, it is regularly used as a punchline to shame the millions of people who are living with herpes. While symptoms of a herpes infection are often mild, if present at all, the social stigma associated with contracting herpes can have a lasting impact on a person's mental health. Break the Stigma Day aims to reduce stigma's impact by promoting awareness of herpes statistics and education about transmission and stigma, while promoting acceptance for those who are living with herpes through anonymous and public storytelling.
How You Can Get Involved in BTSD:
>>Interview a Member of HANDS for your article, website, podcast, YouTube channel, or show.
>>Share your story with a member of HANDS to be featured anonymously with their network on BTSD.
>>Share your story or experience publicly using the hashtags #btsd #breakthestigma #whatstigma #herpesstigma
>>Follow, like, share, and comment on members' posts by following our hashtags on social media:
· Break the Stigma Day Hashtags: #btsd #breakthestigma #whatstigma #herpesstigma
· HANDS Hashtags: #HANDS #HandsStands #AgainstStigma #StandWithHands
>>Use our sample social media posts and prompts highlighting herpes awareness, education, and acceptance resources with your network: https://herpes.education/
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, podcasters, 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:
Jenelle Marie Pierce of TheSTDProject.com