CURRENT SITUATION: The virtual events each month, meeting on Zoom, continue. We will add a date for ‘in real life’ London event by end Oct. (the date will be in November). There are posts about “Covid-19 and how it does not affect HSV” and “the anti-COVID-19 vaccines and herpes” on our news page.
Do you have herpes? Join us on ZOOM
The informal chat meetings are on the first Saturday of the month and one mid-month on a weekday evening – all are welcome. (For members only, we have a ‘learning day’ on the topic of getting you confident about talking to a new partner’. See First Day below.)
Saturday ‘virtual drop-ins’ – November 6th from 10.30am till 12.30pm. and then first Saturday every month, so December 4th, etc. (And see below for the real-life event in London on Oct 9th.)
If you prefer a weekday evening, join us on Wednesday November 17th from 6.30 to 8.30 pm, then Thursday December 16th. Check back for the dates next year…
Drop in when you wish, leave when you wish… You don’t need to talk, you don’t need to turn on your video if you don’t want to. But remember you will be with ‘friends’ who have it too and understand.
If you are interested, email the host, Marian, at [email protected], headed “virtual event” and say which date you want to join. She will send you the link for the Zoom event. She can answer any questions you might have…
Here is what a person on one of these Zoom events said:
“It was one of the few perks of the Covid situation for me, you moved the meetings to Zoom – so I was able to join the support group chat online!! It really was very useful and such a massive relief to finally meet other people in the same situation (other than the ex). I know you exist, but meeting you makes a whole world of difference, you know?!”Lady, 28 yrs.
“I don’t know how to describe it…it was a relief, acceptance, etc.”Lady, about 35 yrs.
And a 57 year old lady has said:
“Don’t sit battling your feelings about herpes on your own, come and join our Zoom meeting and meet others, who have the same diagnosis, and chat and share your experiences or just listen. It’s not so scary, honest.
It’s given me a new confidence having met with lovely people from different backgrounds and different parts of the world who have the same condition as I have and are coping with it. We discuss our fears, feelings, symptoms and medication and how we have told partners. The HVA team are down to earth and honest and have put myths to rest. Its helping me to feel normal… As we all are by the way. Oh and we can also have a laugh as well.”
And, yes, we do have men joining these virtual chats – join us!
“Assurance Day” – next one mid-February – meanwhile come to the regular Zoom chats as we talk about this a lot.
What We Do on the Assurance Day
You get a full day of curated events with three speakers who can offer all the answers. All the others attending will be as worried about it as you are… But like you, they want to move on.
Are you stuck at the stage where you “dump them if it looks like it is getting serious (because I dare not talk about my genital herpes)”? Do you say to yourself “Will anyone want to be with me now I have herpes?” Or “How do I tell someone I have herpes?” We have a solution:
At a recent event of this sort, members who attended gave us six perfect scores (100%) and one 80% for the day! This is a full day’s event (in 5 Zoom sessions) which we know give you the facts, the ideas and most importantly, the confidence about ‘how to tell someone I have herpes’. We discuss amongst ourselves the ‘where’ ‘when’ and ‘how’. We ask members what they would say to a person thinking about coming along. They say:
- “Definitely worth attending! Even if you think you know all about herpes – helps you to feel more positive.”
- “Do it sooner rather than later!” (Two people said this)
- “Well worth the money [£15 for the on-line day – usually £39 for the IRL day!]. Very good. Must do.“
- “Please attend the day as soon as you feel ready. I wish I had made the trip to London sooner… I think I would have had a more positive attitude towards sex, etc. over the last few years had I attended the study day sooner.”
About two months after one of these ‘Days’ a man who’d attended sent us a donation of £2,000. (Great!) He said: “because if I had not come to the event, I’d not have had the guts to date and talk about this with my new girlfriend. She’s my soulmate. This ‘Day’ has changed my life.“
In real life – meeting in public at last – London
Saturday, October 9th, was incredibly popular with 13 people aged between 21 and 65 (I guess!). We are very informal. We have found that we can discuss ‘it’ in public without anyone being aware we are a support group for genital herpes. People don’t take any notice when we talk about ‘h’ and spell out ‘s’ ‘e’ ‘x’.
We will add a new November date and venue shortly… I need to find somewhere spacious!
Caffe Tropea is actually in Russell Square (the park), very near Russell Square tube station – turn left out of the station, keep walking into the park. It is usually nice and empty – we find we can chat without fear of being overheard. We drink tea/coffee/wine/beer… Some of us go on to eat somewhere nearby after 6.00 pm.
Marian or other volunteer will put a Toblerone-shaped sign with ‘SPHERE’ on the table.
All of you are welcome to come and meet Marian. She will stay at this event until 6.00 pm and if no one has arrived, she’ll leave. No booking necessary, just turn up to talk… BUT if you have arrived before 6.00, we can go on chatting till all hours. At one of these, the six people who came liked talking to each other so much, they agreed to come again next month – and five of them did!
Around the country
There are people interested in having meetings in Leeds, Eastbourne, Bury, Coventry, Cardiff. Now that the situation allows meetings!
As one lady said after such an event “I could not have imagined how helpful it was to meet nice people who really understood!”
These social (and sometimes ‘support’) events occur in people’s homes and in pubs, cafes, etc. around the country. Members interested in getting a meeting going in their part of the country get full support from the HVA office. We even hope to join the first meeting ourselves, or send a helpline volunteer – someone trained to answer all factual questions.
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This page was last updated on 4-10-2021.