Something Positive for Positive People Media Coverage
Herpes has a far reaching stigma in our communities, which is absurd considering 48% of Black women have it, according to the Center For Disease Control & Prevention. That’s 1 out of 2 of us. Our numbers are higher than our Black male counterparts, because it’s anatomically easier for women to receive it from men than for women to give it to men. So if so many of us are living with herpes, why is the conversation surrounding the genital skin condition so uninformed? The dearth in education could be rooted in the fact that people aren’t tested for it. When you go to the doctors to get your normal check up, doctors will not screen you for herpes unless you have symptoms or demand it. Not to mention, it’s asymptomatic, meaning it can spread whether you have symptoms or not. That means may of us are living with it, judging people for having it, and even exposing others to it, without knowing our own status.
Courtney Brame is all about spreading positivity when it comes to living with an STI — and he does so through his podcast, Something Positive for Positive People(SPFPP). He started it after he was diagnosed with herpes and covers all kinds of topics to help others with herpes, as well as other STIs. “It’s a place that allows people to get experience based information about STIs and what living with them is like,” Brame tells Bustle. The podcast episodes cover a wide variety of topics, from a therapist doing a mock therapy session with Brame in light of an STI diagnosis to someone with herpes discussing how she dates, post diagnosis.
ST. Louis Post Dispatch
Five years after he was diagnosed with herpes, Courtney Brame decided to do something to comfort others with sexually transmitted diseases and confront the negative perceptions about people dealing with them.
Brame started the podcast “Something Positive for Positive People” after he met a woman on a dating site who said she had contemplated suicide after she was diagnosed with herpes.
“After I heard that, I started to hear it more,” Brame said.
The chills shook Courtney Brame awake. Then the sick heat of fever registered. How could he be so cold and so hot at the same time? His mom drove him to urgent care. “They said, ‘This is what you have. This is what it looks like.’ Then they gave me medicine and a pamphlet and just sent me on my way.”
Courtney Brame went public, for everybody's sake.
Back home, still feverish but shot through with the adrenaline of bad news, he Googled and of course “the worst came up first.” After a lot of compulsive clicking and scanning, though, the advice settled into common sense: Take care of your physical health, work out, keep your immune system strong.
Sex With Dr. Jess
Sex is stigmatized and so all potentially negative outcomes of sex are intensely stigmatized. The unnecessary suffering that sometimes accompanies herpes is ultimately because of the stigma — not the virus itself.
Herpes seems to hold a special stigma that is not proportionate to its health risk. In terms of health, most people with herpes have nothing to worry about. Outbreaks are often rare, decrease with time and can be relived and surpassed with antiviral medication. You do want to take precaution when having sex (herpes can increase the risk of HIV transmission and be a risk when pregnant), but overall, it need not have a significant impact on your (sex) life since we all should be practicing safer sex.
That Sex Nerd Chick
Tori chats with Courtney Brame, founder of Something Positive for Positive People, a hub if sex positive resources. Starting in 2017 as a podcast featuring interviews from people living with herpes and HIV about their experience, it has evolved into uplifting organizations that provide sexual health resources, sex therapists and dating/relationship experts.
Sex Positive Families
I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on a podcast called Something Positive for Positive People hosted by Courtney Brame. His podcast offers a safe space for people living with or affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like herpes and HIV to share their experiences as a way to shake the shame and stigma that exists around these diagnoses. He originally invited me on his podcast to talk sex ed and SPF but little did he know, I too am a person living with HSV2 (herpes simplex virus type 2), and I’m not at all ashamed.