CURRENT SITUATION – ALL FACE-2-FACE EVENTS POSTPONED – but check back regularly for virtual meetings. By the way, there is a post about Covid-19 and how it does not affect HSV on our news page.
Virtual ‘drop-in’ – August 1, Saturday (first Saturday, each month!)
Do you have herpes simplex? Come along to a new virtual drop-in session on Zoom. You’ll be able to talk to others and ask questions, just as if you were in the room with us. We will host this on Saturday, August 1st, from 3 till 5 pm. Drop in when you wish, leave when you wish…
If you are interested you will need to email the host, Marian, at [email protected], headed “virtual event”. She will send you the link and password for the Zoom event. She can answer any questions you might have…
You will need to go to https://Zoom.us and download the software onto your device before the event. Computers can just click in…
Here is what a person on one if these Zoom events said: “The Zoom meet-up was… I still don’t even know what to call it: cathartic, a massive relief, no big deal but a huge one at the same time? It was a strange yet also totally normal experience, to finally be in a space with people sharing my lived experience. Before last Saturdays’ zoom I had met only one other person in the past 12 years who was also living with the virus. I heard and saw the many stages of my own journey in so many of those women present. My head nearly exploded after the meeting, it brought so much back. There’s just so much guilt, shame, fear, suppression, angst, horror.
“So it was great to talk to others who really understand. And thank you for the facts you present, the hope that you offer, the no-nonsense approach you bring to something which should not devastate as many lives as it does. I’ll come to the next one if I may…”
Members only. NEXT ONE – date to be decided when members contact [email protected] (Click on ‘members’ to find out how.)
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 [£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.
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 further down for the ‘First Day of the Rest of Your Life’ – on Saturday, 29th. We will re-schedule the next one once the Covid-19 flu wave has calmed down.
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.
4 April (Alice), 2 May (Marian), 6 June (Alice) – and one every month… We 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.
Thursday 19 March – YES, this will GO AHEAD; Tuesday 14 April – check back…; Wednesday 13 May – and more dates will be added …
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!
Venue 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.
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.
This page was last updated on 8-7-2020.