It's time to take control of our sexual health and get sex-positive to strip away the shame around sexuality and sex. With the countless attacks on comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education in this country, the loss of a generation to the HIV crisis in the 1980s, and the current disproportionate impact of HIV on the Black and Latinx LGBTQIA+ communities, we are committed to building a sex-positive and well-informed generation free of HIV and its associated stigma.
Through sex positivity, communities can celebrate the many ways people consensually discuss, engage and express their sexuality and pleasures. Through this lens, we can empower ourselves, prioritize our sexual health and help end misinformation and stigma.
We are educating and empowering LGBTQ+ people on healthy sex by promoting best practices in testing, preventing, and living with HIV-- and other STIs. Through this national sex positive campaign we will collaborate with content creators, celebrities, college students and advocates to build a generation free of HIV and stigma.
Let’s talk sex since so many people don’t want us to. It’s a natural part of life and we have to strip away the shame. Denial won’t end the HIV epidemic—only stigma-free and truth-based conversations can inspire us to take control of our sexual health.
The sex positivity movement isn’t just about giving LGBTQ+ people the space to celebrate our bodies, sexuality and gender identities, but it’s also about removing the judgment and shame. Judgment and shame stop us from accessing safe and pleasurable sexual experiences, learning about HIV & STIs, and preventing the trauma of unprepared sex.
We must also celebrate all parts of ourselves, including our melanin and our body types. No matter our size, shape, skin tone or scars, we must remember we are all beautiful. As we explore this journey of discovery and pleasure, we must embrace healthy sex.
1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses are people between the ages of 13-24. To combat this trend the HRC Foundation has launched GENERATE, a Gen Z sexual health program to energize 18-24 year olds across the country to take control of their sexual health and reduce the spread of HIV through advocacy, education and storytelling.
The GENERATE cohort is made of 14 amazing Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ students and advocates who will work with HRC to spearhead innovative and meaningful grassroots-level advocacy by elevating HIV prevention efforts and training others in the community to create transformative change—now and in the future.
Within the LGBTQ+ community, transgender and non-binary people have unique needs around sexual health, HIV prevention, treatment and their journey on sexuality and pleasure.
For example, PrEP’s methods and efficacy depend on how someone is having sex. It’s important to consider what kind of sex you are having (vaginal, rectal, oral, etc.) to determine the most effective form of PrEP for people on gender-affirming hormones. PrEP has still been shown to work well for trans women and has had no effect on hormone levels for trans women, trans men or non-binary people.
It’s important to break down the stigma that hinders sex positivity and sexual health in the trans community through visibility, education, and increased access to trans-compentent healthcare.
The values of sex positivity include:
Consent, respect and no judgment
Age appropriate conversations
Inclusive education for LGBTQ+ people
Trauma-informed education and support
Informed decisions on health, your body, and pleasure
Inclusive training of doctors and health providers
Removing racial barriers to health equity
Preparing for sex including consent, safe words, lubricants, PrEP usage, condoms, understanding U=U and PEP. See more on prevention and services.
Things we must eliminate if we are to end stigma on HIV and STIs
Spread fear, lies, and stigma on HIV
Shaming of sex workers
Abstinence-only sex education
Censorship and banning of comprehensive and inclusive sex education
Discriminatory laws and policies
Harm reduction services save lives and are accomplished through a lens of humility and compassion for people who use drugs in order to meet them where they are. Non-stigmatizing and judgment-free efforts empower those who do choose to participate or experiment with drugs to be fully informed in preventing drug-related deaths or trauma, and help offer access to healthcare, social services, and treatment.
These efforts result in a reduction of overdose fatalities, acute life-threatening infections related to unsterile drug injection, and chronic diseases such as HIV and viral Hepatitis. Across the country, policy makers are seeing the importance of this approach and how it both saves lives and helps reduce the spread of HIV.
Incorporating harm reduction can reduce the negative health and social effects caused by alcohol or drug use.These services can also:
Reduce the spread of sexually transmitted and other blood-borne infections, including HIV and viral hepatitis
Increase knowledge around healthy sex
Increase knowledge of the potential interactions between drugs and PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis)
Building health literacy within stigmatized communities
We can accomplish these goals by improving:
Access to PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis)
Access to HIV and viral hepatitis testing and treatment
Access to condoms
Comprehensive sex education
Access to clean needles and syringes
Chemsex is the use of drugs in combination with sex. People take part in chemsex for a variety of reasons;some use drugs to lower their inhibitions and increase pleasure, while others engage in chemsex to address issues in their sex life and self-esteem. It is most common among men who have sex with men, but is also becoming common among those who engage in heterosexual sex as well as others who identify as LGBTQ.
It’s important to understand the dangers. The intensity of drugs and sex hijack the brain’s reward circuitry, resetting the baseline level needed for arousal and fusing drug use and sex.
Tolerance quickly results in escalating drug use and the need for more intense sexual encounters, which complicates recovery and increases the chance of overdosing.
Health education is key for those partaking in chemsex. You must have an understanding and knowledge of what these drugs do to your body in order to be fully informed and in control. Always understand what you are taking and what it does to your body. Always take care of someone if you see if they are in trouble. (Sexual partners, friends or loved ones)
There are three specific drugs usually involved:
Methamphetamine is a stimulant. It's also known as crystal meth, crystal, meth, tina and crank.
Mephedrone is a stimulant. It's known as meph, drone or meow meow.
GHB and GBL are sedatives. Their full names are gamma hydroxybutyrate and gamma butyrolactone, and they're also known as G, gina, geebs and liquid ecstasy.
Inhalants are somewhat different due to their legality, making them available to buy through public commerce. Inhalants have the potential to create a weakened immune system and increase damage to internal organs with high blood circulation, such as the brain, liver and kidney. The FDA has warned the public against using poppers This damage may or may not be permanent from as little as one use.
Amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite and cyclohexyl nitrite are inhalants that are also known as poppers, snappers, room odorizers, aromas, or under names such as Rush, Jungle Juice and others.
We are building a generation free of HIV and stigma. Join us across the country by checking out the My Body, My Health initiative.