Break the Stigma

stigma /noun/

a negative and unfair set of beliefs that a group of people have about something or someone.

STIgma /noun/

a negative and unfair set of beliefs that I or society have about HIV and other STIs which prevents open conversations about sexual health and leads to a lack of knowledge, less access to care, irregular testing and even social isolation.

HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) /noun/

a virus that attacks the body’s immune system.  Not a status of morality or a death sentence.

Community /noun/

a place where you can feel welcomed, an environment where you belong.

What’s the Impact?

Stories that share real experiences with STIgma.

Stop the STIgma, Not the Music

A Triad-based DJ shares about how building community (through music and experience) can be a way to stop the STIgma experienced by community members living with HIV.

One Couple Unleashes Their Kink to Stop Sexual Health STIgma

One local couple of pups help put the unique and popular kink into perspective by celebrating community and connection.

The Power of Speaking PassionateLY to End STIgma

Triad-based spoken word artist and activist is creating spaces, events and poems that challenge stigma and expand gender perspectives.

More than a Job: Working at the Adult Store is a Chance to Change the Conversation and Combat STIgma

Three decades at the novelty store is makes for an everyday opportunity to be educator, advocate, and trusted reso for this Triad mother.

The Impact of STIgma on HIV Care

THP’s Associate Director of Care and Wellness Sheletha Ross gives voice to the challenge of STIgma in fighting HIV.

Commonly heard in our communities.

“I heard that the most common STI symptom is no symptom.”

STDs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested  if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine, and some can be cured entirely.

“Let’s go get tested together!”

That’s a great way to keep you and your sexual partner(s) health at the center of your relationship(s)…

“People who take charge of their health are sexy.”

We think so, too! Knowing and caring for your well-being and the well-being of others is a total turn-on.

“I’m still the same person that you always loved.”

Love is about the whole person. An STI isn’t the end of the world, and after securing treatment, maybe take time to talk more about it calmly and with compassion.

“I know you love me for me, and I want to be honest about all parts of me.”

Sharing who you are is so important as long as you are comfortable and your safety is not threatened. Bringing your full self into any relationship is so important.

“My status doesn’t define me.”

Right! Whether living with HIV or disclosing an STI, being able to recognize that who a person is starts with their heart and that living with a long-term illness or a recurring STI should never reduce the dignity and care every person deserves.

What you can do now!

Together, we can Stop the STIgma.

Organize

a food drive for our clients living with HIV or donate pantry goods directly at one of our offices

Follow + Share

our social media posts, expanding our sexual health awareness and outreach impact on Instagram and Facebook

share your time at events, in our office, or at our Higher Ground Day Center and connect to the community

Stop & Shop

Keep your summer to stop STIgma going all year around with a t-shirt that tells the world you may be fun…but you aren’t playing around with STIgma.

In partnership with Bonfire, you can choose from five colorful prints across a wide array of shirts and tank-tops for all gender identities and expressions.