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. This is for anyone, it is free – although it would be polite to buy a coffee (£1.30), drink (£2.20).
See below for the dates/venues for London (anyone can come) with a big picnic on Monday 27th August. There are regular meet-ups for members-only in Bury (about every 6 week) Sometimes other places too: Cardiff, Bristol… There’s a ‘local contact’ in Scotland….
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.
8th September, 6th October 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.
Tuesday 14th August (Nigel will host), Wednesday 12th September, Thursday 18th October – 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.)
CURRENT BUILDING WORKS: Use the entrance to The Atrium that is on Russell Square side of the building – look for the door between the fake green bushes in pots!
In St James’s Park, London (tube St Jame’s Park). Marian will be there, and there will be members of other ‘h’ groups. It is great to chat with others – you will see how normal they all are – compare and complain with people who understand. Get advice on YOUR situation (romantic situation or treatment ideas). Meet new friends.
The hostess is April Munday. April will be on the north side of the lake so go up and say “Is April here?” The picnic will be under the BLACK SMUDGE. The footbridge is where the red blob is.
Marian will have her bicycle upside down with a SPHERE sign through the wheel
Directions: out of St James tube, down the delightful Queen Anne’s Gate into the park. Straight ahead and cross the footbridge on the lake. When you get off the bridge, turn left and walk about 50 yards (it looks like!) See you!
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.
Regularly, a group meet in Bury – about every 6 weeks. For 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! http://www.meetup.com/London-Gay-Mens-Herpes-Meetup-Dating/
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 7-8-2018