Herpes support groups

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This article is about the social health aspects of the disease. For information about the specific virus, see Herpes simplex virus.

Herpes support groups are organized groups, some grass roots and some official nonprofit or medical groups, that provide support and information for people who have been diagnosed with genital herpes. Genital herpes is a viral disease caused by herpes simplex viruses; both herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV–1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV–2) can cause genital herpes.


Support for people with herpes arose from the work of the American Social Health Association (ASHA). The organization was created in 1914 to in response to the increase in social diseases that had spread during World War 1.[1]

During the 1970s, there was an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. One of the diseases that increased dramatically was genital herpes. In response, ASHA created the National Herpes Resource Center in 1979. The HRC was designed to meet the growing need for education and awareness about the virus. One of the projects of The Herpes Resource Center (HRC) was to create a network of local support (HELP) groups. The goal of these HELP groups was to provide a safe, confidential environment where participants can get accurate information and share experiences, fears, and feelings with others who are concerned about herpes.[2][3]

In the UK, the Herpes Association (now the Herpes Viruses Association) was started in 1982, becoming a registered charity with a Dept of Health grant in 1985. The charity started as a string of local group meetings before acquiring an office and a national spread.[4][5] [6]


In a 2007 study, 1900 people (25% of which had herpes) ranked genital herpes second for social stigma, out of all sexually transmitted diseases (HIV took the top spot for STD stigma).[7][8]


  1. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 19 October 2014. ASHA was founded in 1914 in New York City, formed out of early 20th century social reform movements focused on fighting sexually transmitted infections (known then as venereal disease, or VD) and prostitution. 
  2. ^ "American Social Health Association". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. 
  3. ^ "The Herpes Resource Center". Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. 
  4. ^ "The Herpes Viruses Association". 
  5. ^ "Top UK Dating Sites Reviews". 
  6. ^ Datingsites. "Reviews of the Best STD Dating Sites". 
  7. ^ Miranda Hitti (24 August 2007). "Stigma Still Strong". WebMD. Archived from the original on 16 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Herpes support groups on Meetup".