CURRENT SITUATION – we have virtual events each month, meeting on Zoom. By the way, 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 FirstDaybelow.

Saturday virtual ‘drop-ins’ – 7th August, 3pm till 5 pm. and then first Saturday every month, so September 4th, October 2nd, etc.
If you prefer a weekday evening, join us on Wednesday 18th August from 6.30 to 8.30, Thursday, September 16th – check back for the date in October.
Drop in when you wish, leave when you wish… You don’t need to talk, you don’t even 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 you will need to 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…

Zoom chat

Here is what a person on one if 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!

“First Day of the Rest of Your Life” will be end Sept/early Oct – contact [email protected] This is for HVA members only. Click on members to become a member.

What we do:

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.”

When the lock-down is over:

Do you have herpes simplex? Come along to these drop-in events (or social support groups) for people with genital herpes: meet others, share experiences, and get answers to your questions. (Jump straight to the dates). This is for anyone, it is free – although it would be polite to buy a drink (e.g. coffee £1.40, cider £2.25).

We can talk about ‘it’ in public with no problems at all!

People often say afterwards that “I cannot believe how much better I feel after just one chat”.

See below for the dates/venues for London (anyone can come).

There are meetings for members-only where our members are choosing to host them (full help given). recent events were in: Newcastle-upon-Tyne (twice). Bristol has an active group… There’s a ‘local contact’ in Scotland… Other herpes groups have meet-ups which we will advertise.

See above for theFirst Day of the Rest of Your Life’,  Now on Zoom – join from anywhere in the world!

We are often told that: “I was really nervous about coming to this meet-up. 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.” Another lady emailed to say “I hadn’t realised quite how useful I would find it.” 

People thinking about coming along to our meet-ups often ask “What sort of people come to these events?” And the answer is “Normal people! Nice people!” We are all ages, all colours, all sexes! Some have been to events 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


Events in London – hosted by Marian or Alice

one every month once the lockdown is over Atrium-2We are there from 3 pm – to 6 pm, but you can arrive and leave when it suits you, 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 Lounge venue (directions below) 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.

Weekday Evenings

Dates to be added once the lockdown is over…

All of you are welcome to come and meet Marian – from 6.30 pm.  You can phone her on 020 6706 9661 if she is late! She stays at this event until 8.00 pm and if no one has arrived, she’ll leave.  No booking necessary, just turn up to talk…

BUT if you have arrived before 8.00, we can go on chatting till all hours. Anyone can come to this 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!

President_hotelVenue and Directions

The Atrium Lounge in the President Hotel, Guilford Street, London, WC1B 5BA – Russell Square tube station.  Turn left out of tube, first left into Herbrand St and the hotel is ahead of you. Inside, turn to the right to enter the Atrium Lounge. Marian puts a yellow ‘SPHERE’ sign on the table.

Around the country

There are people interested in having meetings in Leeds, Eastbourne, Bury, Coventry, Cardiff.

Birmingham meet-up

This was on Saturday, February 8th at 6 pm in Distillery, 4 Sheepcote Street, B16 8AE (on the canal side) and then a club/bar…

We will add other events as we hear about them.
It was organised social group Seawave so lots of people will be going. There were over 20 people last time Marian went to one of these. Go! You will find that talking to others who totally understand is so great!

Newcastle-upon-Tyne (had a meeting in November) – Cardiff  – Leeds – all of these may be having social chats soon…

As one lady said after such an event “I could not have imagined how helpful it was to meet nice people who really understood!”

Social in Cardiff with another big herpes Facebook group was in December with a Pete the Pesky Pirate finger puppet on the table – they hope to get him perched on a bottle or sticking up on a spoon so you can find the gang.

Other places where there are events from time to time:  Cambridge and possibly Cumbria. 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 7-2-2021.