Sexual heath services – did you get good service?
Did you get into the sexual health clinic easily? Did they make you wait days? The new commissioning system for sexual health services (GUM clinics) is via local authorities – it comes out of their public health budget. Sexual health is not paid for by the NHS any more.
If you would like to tell the doctors/clinics about your experience, they want to hear from you: let them know through this survey You can be anonymous if you like.
Genital herpes can only be diagnosed by taking a swab when you have symptoms. So it is essential that people who want to check if this is what they have, get into the clinic when the symptoms are present. Complaints are needed if the services are not up to scratch! Click here for the survey.
You might see adverts from private clinics/on-line clinics – “get diagnosed by post”. Ensure that only a swab is used for your diagnosis. There is no point in a urine test or a blood test for diagnosing genital herpes.
The helpline gets a lot of calls every (week) day and here are some of the most common questions:
“Will I transmit my genital herpes to my child?”
The answer to that is of course, “no you cannot – it is transmitted directly skin-to-skin with the affected area so clearly a mum with a cold sore does need to take care, but a mum with a genital sore is not going to infect her child with her genital herpes.
“I had sex last night and now I have an outbreak, will I have infected my partner with genital herpes?”
The answer is there are two possibilities. One: if your body was planning on having an outbreak today, then possibly you were infectious last night and the partner might have caught it. Two: (and this is much more likely) the late night or the friction has triggered the outbreak, and you would not have had it if you had not had sex. So you were not infectious last night. By the way, if sex triggers outbreaks, use a sexual lubricant with silicone.
“Who did I get herpes from?”
It is important to remember that a person can have their first outbreak of genital herpes many years after catching it. So, often you cannot know for sure where it came from.
“Is this (…long description…) herpes?”
We cannot diagnose on the phone. Each of the symptoms of a primary outbreak of herpes can be linked to many other illnesses. So, the ‘flu-like symptoms’ might actually be flu. The ‘itchiness that comes before the blisters appear’ might be caused by anything from allergy to washing powder, to eczema. The ache in the leg might be a strained muscle… Get diagnosed at a clinic.
Marian Nicholson, 15 March 2018
We need to protect sexual health services
Sign the petition to maintain the sexual health services. Since the government REMOVED sexual health from the NHS and asked local councils to provide it, the standard of services (access times, staffing, etc) has gone down.
You need to show that members of the public do want the provision of anonymous, easily accessible sexual health clinics. Sign now!
Winter-Spring 2018 edition of Sphere
Get it sent to you by post or by email
- Heavy duty research and a new drug development
- The grass is greener – or is it? Existing treatments work for most us – if you know how to use them
- Ignore the word ‘cancer’ in any herpes story.
- General health and psychology issues:
- Why 10 eggs isn’t enough
- Think about improving your self-esteem – Come to next ‘day’ – see what happened with Aimee
- Interesting tales from the HVA office
- Join the committee (be a trustee) – yes, you!
- The mayor of Islington with our star helpliner…
- Important: sign the petition to save STI services from £ cuts.
- Buy Target lotion at half price
- And we have a long section of My Story from Robert
Continue reading What You Get in the Current Magazine
We have been following the development of Theravax from Rational Vaccines. This is the work of Dr Bill Halford’s team. (I recently spoke to their business manager on the phone.) This is an interesting vaccine, because it is different from the others currently being worked on and it is more like the successful chickenpox vaccine.
Continue reading Potential vaccine?
We run these days to help you develop confidence, information, skills – and to meet others in the same boat.
Nine people attended recently. They marked their score cards with the top rating: a ‘very helpful’ day and several commented that it was even more enjoyable than they had expected. “Meeting the others on the course is a bonus,” said one lady. “In fact I have made two new friends and we support each other and meet up.” These days happen every three months.
Continue reading ‘Talking to a New Partner’ – Come to an Event That Will Give You Confidence (and Information)
If you get cold sores, you might like to try the new cold sores treatment with melissa. The researcher is keen to have more people to try this new, improved formula – and report back to him. A man who tested an earlier formula is totally thrilled at the results: much better than anything else he’s tried, and he’s tried a lot of different products!
You may have read some headlines in the Sun or the Mail, etc. They report “‘Women infected with herpes while they are pregnant are twice as likely to have a child with autism.” This headline comes from a study looking at whether maternal infections during pregnancy are associated with the risk of neurological developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
Continue reading No “Link between herpes in pregnancy and autism”
“Dates for the diary” now has its own page
Go to Events
We organise a support groups/social get-togethers – mostly in London. The hosts for these events are people with herpes. You can meet others with the virus, share experiences…
We hold informal, interactive days when you can learn how to talk to a new partner. These events – next one on Saturday, 17 February, 2018 – are extremely popular. The usual comment from people who attend is always something like: “I wish I had gone to one of these sooner…”
And a formal seminar – once a year – with a doctor who is expert in genital herpes. We always ask the doctor to be sure to allow time for answering all your questions. Next one is on May 12th, 2018.
We need a volunteer (or more than one) to come into the office to do the routine tasks of administration. (We had a great guy, but we found him a full-time paid job in this building, so now we need ‘you’!)
Continue reading Volunteering