Join a virtual event, free. Two each month, on Zoom: the first Sunday of the month, and a mid-week chat. See table of dates below. We have ‘in real life’ London events as well: next one Saturday 3rd September, 3-6 pm, see below.

Do you have herpes? Join us on ZOOM

The informal Zoom chat meetings are on the first Sunday of the month and one mid-month on a weekday evening – free – all are welcome. (For paid-up members only, we have a ‘learning day’ on the topic of getting you confident about talking to a new partner’. See Assurance Day below -‘assurance’ because it gives you the assurance to talk with confidence!)

Sunday ‘virtual drop-ins’ – first Sunday of each month: 4th September, 2nd October, etc., from 10:00 until 12:00 noon. (And see below for the real-life event in London on Saturday, 3 September, etc. Anyone can come…)

If you prefer a weekday evening, join us on Wednesday 17th August from 6.30 to 8.30 pm, Tuesday 13 September, Thursday 20 October, and more dates later will be added later…

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.

Another comment:

“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!

7 August, SundayZoom10 am to 12 noon
17 August, WednesdayZoom6.30-8.30 pm
3 SeptemberAtrium Lounge, President Hotel, Russell Sq.3 pm to 6pm
4 September, SundayZoom10 am to 12 noon
13 September, TuesdayZoom6.30-8.30 pm
1 OctoberAtrium Lounge, President Hotel, Russell Sq.3 pm to 6pm
2 October, SundayZoom10 am to 12 noon
20 October, ThursdayZoom6.30 – 8.30 pm
5 NovemberAtrium Lounge, President Hotel, Russell Sq.3 pm to 6pm
6 November, SundayZoom10 am to 12 noon

In real life – meeting in public at last – London

Next one on Saturday, 3 September from 3 till 6 pm. (And every first Sunday of the month.) 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’.

The Atrium, in the President hotel, is very close to Russell Square tube: turn left out of the tube, first lift into Herbrand Street, and the President is ahead. Inside, turn right to the Atrium. Marian or another volunteer will put a Toblerone-shaped sign showing ‘SPHERE’, on the table. Full address: 56-60 Guilford Street WC1N 1DB.

All of you are welcome to come and chat. Marian will stay at this event until 6.00 pm. No booking necessary, just turn up to talk… As long as you arrive before 6.00, we can go on chatting till all hours. Marian will be drinking tea (about £4 a pot ) or cider (£5.40 a bottle) and there are, of course, all the other drinks at similar prices – card payment only.

In October, we had 12 people who liked talking to each other so much, some of them continued on at various venues till 4 am (I am told!) In January, we had a lovely group of 6. One lady has promised to send us a comment to add here – check back…

August Picnic

On Sunday 7th we had a picnic in St James’ Park. Easy to find on the north bank of the lake, head west from the bridge and look for Marian’s upturned bicycle with SPHERE sign in the wheel spokes. Loos and a coffee/cake stand nearby. Marian will head home at 5 pm – but sometimes people go on to a pub, etc.

We can help members set up such meetings in their region: picnic, pub, cafe, hotel lounge/bar… Or even your own home?

Marian's bike upturned by the lake for the herpes support group meeting

“Assurance Day” – next one: last Sunday in October (Date TBA)

This is the day you start to feel assured about how to tell a partner about your herpes. Contact [email protected]. This is for HVA members only. Click on members to become a member.

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.

Around the country – and one in Sheffield!

A one-off meeting for people in Sheffield was on 22nd June from 6.30 at a Wetherspoons. And a one-off in Glasgow on 4th July…

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 17-8-2022.