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. In London, Scarborough, Bristol, Bury, Reading and sometimes other places too. See further down for invitation to the ‘annual talk from a herpes simplex specialist’, and the ‘First Day of the Rest of Your Life’.
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
4th March, 1st April 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 talking about 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.
Tuesday 14th March – and more throughout 2017.
All of you are welcome to come and meet Marian – from 6.30 pm. We stay at this event until 8.00 pm and if no one has arrived, we’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.
The six people who came to one of these liked talking to each other so much, they agreed to come again in March – 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.)
Gay Guys in London
A member had a meeting for gay guys. He says there will be more! http://www.meetup.com/London-Gay-Mens-Herpes-Meetup-Dating/
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:
In the upstairs seating area, Natasha will put a Harry Potter book on the table (keeps the reason for us getting together confidential). If you want to contact me beforehand, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regularly, a group meet in Bury. Also, there are people interested in having meetings in Leeds, Bristol, 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.
Herpes seminar – the annual talk from an expert
On February 25th, Saturday afternoon, in Central London, all members are invited to hear an expert talk on genital herpes, and have the opportunity to ask the expert about their herpes. Details are sent with the subscription pack.
First Day of the Rest of Your Life – May 20th 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)? 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 20-2-2017