Many people living with an STI are too ashamed to admit their diagnosis. In the de facto hierarchy of STIs, Herpes and HIV are widely considered to be the “worst” to get because they are not curable. In this panel, we combine the knowledge and experience of sex educators and public health professionals, two of whom are “out” about having STIs themselves. We’ll discuss sex and dating with an STI, as well as navigating the stigma that exists in daily life. Knowledge is more contagious than STIs. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans have an STI. Those statistics make this an important and relevant discussion for all sexuality professionals.

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, Ashley Manta, me (Adrial), Kate McCombs and Raul Queue participated in a very special and touching panel at CatalystCon East, a conference for sex educators and the sex-positive community. A few people in the audience, during some shares, actually came out as having an STI. It was a very supportive


  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 1:28 – Panelist intros (Raul, Kate, Adrial, Ashley)
  • 10:38 – One-on-one disclosure exercise, shares
  • 16:50 – Slides & group discussion around stigma
  • 27:34 – The power of words
  • 37:15 – Wrapup

herpes forum