Do you have herpes simplex? Come along to a social support group event for people with genital herpes: meet others, share experiences, and get answers to your questions. See below for the dates/venues below for London, Bristol, Exeter, Bury, Rochester and sometimes other places too.  See further down for invitation to the ‘First Day of the Rest of Your Life’.

For members, there are more events: see leaflet sent with your last magazine.

We are often told that: “I was really nervous about coming to meet you. But it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I really enjoyed meeting other people with herpes and talk about it openly – and to get my questions answered.”

People thinking about coming along always ask “What sort of people come to these?” And the answer is “Normal people! Nice people!” We are all ages, all colours, all sexes! Some have been before; others are new; members have had invitations through the post; non-members have seen these details ‘on the net’.

Conversation is about everything: how someone had caught it, how someone else’s partner had reacted. Mainly, it involves feelings of lack of self-esteem and the problems/methods of talking about herpes simplex (‘cold sores on the wots-it’) to new or potential partners. It is a sort of informal counselling if you like, with the experience of each person there, adding to Marian’s time-tested advice.

“At my first meeting I was told ‘Of course you can have a normal sex life’ by a man who’d had herpes simplex for five years. I didn’t believe him. Now I know he was telling the truth.” says Marian.

London social chats-with-answers – see venue details below


Event in London

3 June, 17th June (see extra info below), 8th July and one every month…

Marian usually hosts this. She will be there from 3 pm – to 6 pm, but you can arrive and leave when it suits you, we are very informal.  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’.

The Atrium Lounge venue is especially good if you like a quiet, comfortable atmosphere. It is usually nice and empty – we find we can chat without fear of being overheard. We drink tea/coffee/wine/beer/cocktails – all really cheap for London! 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.

Join us before 6 and then move on to the H-YPE  “Spring into Summer Party” – Saturday 17th June

On the 17th June, Alice will host the 3-6 chat session at the Atrium.  Look for the yellow SPHERE sign on the table.  Then at 6 pm we will set off for a bite to eat. (Democratic vote re where!)  We will walk down to join the H-ype group near Tottenham Ct Rd tube.  H-ype is a social group for people with…   They say “This is a great opportunity to socialise with masses of H-YPEsters.  (33 are signed up for already.)  It has been far too long since our last H-YPE London event so come along. Let’s make this yet another excellent party.”

Weekday Evenings

Tuesday 13th June – and more dates will be added shortly re July, August and throughout 2017.

All of you are welcome to come and meet Nigel – from 6.30 pm.  He stays at this event until 8.00 pm and if no one has arrived, he’ll leave.

BUT if you have arrived before 8.00, we can go on chatting till all hours… This is an open meeting at the President’s Atrium Bar/Lounge – see venue details below.

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!

Venue and Directions


The Atrium Lounge in the President Hotel, Guilford Street, London WC1 1DB

About 2 minutes from Russell Square tube. Turn left out of the tube station, first left into Herbrand Street. The hotel is straight ahead. Inside the hotel, turn right and go through the big glass doors. Look for the yellow SPHERE sign on a table. (Saturday: parking free after 1.30 pm near the hotel.)

Around the country

These social (and sometimes ‘support’) events occur in people’s homes and in pubs, cafes, etc. around the country. Members can join meetings in:

Bristol – 27 May, 2-4 pm:

The Hole in the Wall pub,  2 The Grove, Queens Square, SB1 4QZ.

Sarah will put a Shaun the Sheep  on the table – he may be decorated for Easter.



Exeter – 10 June, 2-5 pm:

The cafe at Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street EX4 3LS

Zara is hosting this – she has ‘long red hair’ so it will be easy to recognise her.  Ask for her mobile number.


Rochester – 22 July, 7 pm.

The Crown pub, Rochester High St, starting at 7 pm and then possibly a pub crawl maybe ending at 1am. (So join them early before they leave the Crown!)  Sue hosts this and she says “Hope to see some of you there. You can recognise us by the Love-heart Bear I will have on display.”


Regularly, a group meet in Bury.  Also, there are people interested in having meetings in Leeds, Eastbourne, Coventry.

Members interested in hosting something 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.

Gay Guys in London

A member had a meeting for gay guys. He says there will be more!

First Day of the Rest of Your Life – August 12th 2017

Are you stuck at the stage where you ‘dump them if it looks like it is getting serious’ (because I daren’t 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:

On May 20th, members can attend a full day’s event which we know give you the facts, the ideas and most importantly, the confidence about ‘how to tell someone I have herpes’.  After the last such ‘Day’, in November, we asked what they would say to a person thinking about coming along. They said:

  • 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 [£39]. 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.

This page was last updated on 05-4-2017