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 for London (anyone can come) with a big social on 30th June. There are regular meet-ups for members-only in Bury (5th April)  Sometimes other places too: Portsmouth, and earlier in the month Bristol and Brighton.  There’s a ‘local contact’ in Scotland….

See further down for theFirst Day of the Rest of Your Life’ – on Saturday, 19th May 2018 – get in touch NOW to book your place: [email protected] or phone 020 7607 9661.

Members-only events are sent with the quarterly magazine.  More details of membership.

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.”

People thinking about coming along to our meet-ups often 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 – Marian ‘in the pink’

7th July, 4th August and one every month…

Marian is the usual host. We 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 (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

Wednesday 13th June, Thursday 12th July, Tuesday 14th August  – 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. 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.)

Big Social, Saturday, 30th June – from 7 – lots coming…

At Ruby Blue, 1 Leicester Place, (Leicester Square) London WC2H 7BP. It is a big venue with a restaurant, bar and club. LAURA has booked an area in the upstairs bar under HER NAME “LAURA”.  (She may get some H balloons too…) It should be quiet until about 9 or so when they start playing music.

They usually charge an entry fee after 9pm, but give LAURA’s name as the booking and you should get free entry before 11pm if you’re late.

Laura adds “There’s a restaurant in there too, if anyone wants to get food earlier they open about 5 pm. Looking forward to seeing you all!”

Marian, from the HVA, will be there from 7 to 9 to chat with you, answer questions – wearing a scarlet blouse. (Photo will be added shortly.)

Around the country

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.

Portsmouth – Saturday 26th May

From 7 pm, Lisa will be meeting up with others at All Bar One (Portsmouth), Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth PO1 3TA.
There will be blue balloons on the table.
This event will include two other ‘Herpes Facebook Groups’ for drinks and social chat.  Come and chat – it is so reassuring to see how normal we all are!


Brighton – Saturday, 28th April

4-6 pm. Join Nigel for an information session in the lounge of the Royal Albion Hotel on the sea front by the pier. He will put a yellow SPHERE sign on the table.

Have a chat about ‘it’ over a coffee or beer/wine. Discuss topics such as ‘Treatment, Transmission and Talking to a new partner’. Continue into the evening – see below. Let Nigel know you are coming by 25th April: [email protected]


From 6 pm, a big group including two other ‘Herpes Facebook Groups’ will have a drink/ social at North Laine Brewhouse, 27 Gloucester Place, BN1 4AA. Mark will put an Argus newspaper and a Sphere sign on the table.  Go and chat with him. Samantha (the other host) will be there too.



Regularly, a group meet in Bury. Next on 5th April – HVA members only. Also, there are people interested in having meetings in Leeds, Eastbourne, Coventry, Cardiff.

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 – Saturday, May 12th 2018 – book now!

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 October 18th, members  attended the last one and gave us a 100% perfect score for the day!  This is 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’.  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.

This page was last updated on 4-6-2018