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Herpes Activists Networking to Dismantle Stigma (HANDS) is a thriving network of over 25 individual members and member organizations working together to improve the overall wellness for people who are living with herpes. We aim to make herpes a common part of our global discourse and to promote high quality herpes information and services. We conduct global media outreach, develop practical products and tools, and encourage the public and health care providers to take action.
Follow our Hashtags on Social Media: #HANDS #HandsStands #AgainstStigma #StandWithHands
Recognizing the limits of traditional approaches to herpes awareness and education, which are often stigmatized or narrow in scope, we embrace a positive, comprehensive approach that emphasizes wellness. We believe that sexual health does not necessarily require one to be free from infection, but that ‘being sexually healthy means being able to enjoy a healthier body, a satisfying sexual life, positive relationships, and peace of mind.’
HANDS brings together individual activists, sexual health experts, and leading national organizations who not only share a commitment to advancing herpes awareness, education, and acceptance, but also to improving the overall health of our world. Our members include public health organizations, health care providers, consumer organizations, universities, communications professionals, and many more.
HANDS is an autonomous network comprised of individual members and member organizations, and HANDS membership does not imply endorsement of member’s work, policies, initiatives, messages, or services.
How We Work
Through two committees – The Awareness Campaign Committee and the Herpes Resources Committee – we create practical products, resources, and activities. We draw upon the evidence-based, collective expertise of our members to create high quality resources. In turn, our members employ their extensive networks and channels to disseminate materials to millions of people across the globe.
Our Media Presence
Our network uses a variety of cost-effective media strategies to promote herpes awareness and HANDS resources while stimulating conversations and normalizing herpes dialogue. We launch media campaigns, establish content partnerships with leading outlets, and respond to reporter queries. For many journalists, HANDS is a ‘go to’ source for herpes resources.
- 1st Ever Herpes Activists Network Launches on Herpes Awareness Day
- Leadership Team Member, Dr Kelly Schuh, and Founder, Jenelle Marie Pierce Talk about Stigma
- Herpes Activists Take Down NYC-Based Sex Educator’s Harmful Content
- Herpes Activists Announce Herpes Stigma Day During STD Awareness Month
- Wildflower Sex and the Perpetuation of White Supremacy in Sex-Positive Spaces
Valuable Member Services
Our members shape our mission, goals, and what we do. Along with our outreach initiatives and activities, we offer additional resources that member’s value:
- Quarterly social media campaigns with sample tweets that members can promote around herpes awareness themes, sexual health observances, and holidays
- ‘Herpes in the News,’ a monthly round-up of herpes stories trending in media, sent to our mailing list
- Promotion of member services and activities to the network, as well as to non-member organizations and media outlets, when appropriate
- Opportunities to participate in media interviews and to develop story content