When looking for information about sexual health, we often turn to a friend or a trusted community member, and online social networks provide an opportunity to talk with all sorts of people who share a common experience. The Hornet Health Ambassador program is a way to facilitate engagement with users around issues of sexual health.
We’ve witnessed the power of interactions among men online when it comes to health issues. Guys from all around the world have engaged in meaningful conversations about PrEP, undetectability and living with HIV. It’s perfectly natural to turn to other people in the community so they can provide insight into a particular experience.
I have been HIV-positive for over 20 years, and I have been posting that information in my online profiles ever since gay apps were created. It made it so much easier to have a conversation about HIV when it was disclosed in my profile before a conversation even started. Affirmatively declaring my HIV status in my profile was not simply about convenience. It was a way to show others in the online space that living with HIV is nothing to be ashamed of and that I was willing to talk openly about my status.
The HIV status in my profile has encouraged all sorts of men from around the world to approach me. Some ask questions about treatment and medications. Others want to know about dating and disclosure. But, perhaps most importantly, others just want to talk with another HIV-positive person. Knowing there are other HIV-positive men out there can have a profound impact on one’s relationship to HIV and can help alleviate isolation.
These benefits of connecting with someone who has a shared experience is part of the reason the Hornet Health Ambassador program was created. At its core it’s a way to bring men together and allow them the opportunity to engage around sexual health. Sometimes it’s a question about testing. Other times it’s an inquiry about PrEP and how it works. And in some cases it’s an attempt to better understand what it means to live and date with HIV and how an issue like undetectability can impact our relationships.
A simple badge in one’s profile indicates they’re part of the Hornet Health Ambassador program. That badge is an invitation to a conversation. It’s a way of saying that particular person is open and willing to talk about sexual health issues and share their experience or provide information. If you see that badge, feel free to reach out and engage in a chat.
If you would like to be a Hornet Health Ambassador, the program is open to all members of the Hornet community. The program is for men all over, of all ages and of any HIV status. We ask that people go through an application process to help prepare them to be the best Health Ambassador they can be. The program is committed to creating non-judgmental and sex-positive exchanges, and we expect all Hornet Health Ambassadors to abide by a code of conduct that will help ensure all people are treated respectfully. We want exchanges to be a pleasant experience for everyone.
The Hornet Health Ambassador program is implemented through our community platform. That platform also hosts a forum where Health Ambassadors can share tips and information with each other. This is a means of support for Health Ambassadors, but it also allows them to learn from one another and gain information.
A community is strong because of its members. The Health Ambassador program strives to create a community the benefits everyone. Our online space is strengthened by information that is exchanged and by the experiences that are shared. Together we can continue to build an online community that improves the health and wellness of its members. We hope you will explore the Health Ambassador program and experience its benefits.