Herpes Support Group in Center City Philadelphia PA and Ocean City NJ
Please join us for an informative, supportive and confidential genital herpes support group. Help with Herpes provides a safe environment in which you can discuss how herpes is impacting your life, meet people who know just what you’re going through, learn tips and techniques about managing herpes, and get support and guidance as you adjust to living with herpes.
Remember, you’re not alone.
We’re here to help. You can self schedule an inperson or online herpes therapy session or you can join our Herpes Support Group
10$ a session for existing TCFG clients who are attending sessions twice a month with their individual or couples therapist.
Herpes is caused by a virus.
There are at least 6 different herpes viruses, including the one that causes chickenpox and shingles.
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Type 1 and Type 2 cause outbreaks around the genitals and mouth – these are sometimes called, “cold sores” or, “fever blisters.”
Approximately 25% of US adults, roughly 70 million people, have genital herpes.
One million new cases of genital herpes occur each year.
More than half of people with genital herpes don’t know they have it, since their symptoms are often mild, mistaken for another condition, or nonexistent.
Genital herpes is transmitted sexually and can be spread even when there is no visible outbreak.
Though there is no cure, there are herpes treatment options available that can reduce the severity, frequency and duration of outbreaks, as well as minimize the risk of infecting sexual partners.
Infection with Herpes
The herpes virus enters the body through a break in the skin or through the moist membranes around the genitals or mouth. Infection usually causes blisters, ulcers or swelling, but sometimes it may also not show any of these. The virus can be spread from the mouth to the partner’s genitals or vice versa during oral sex.
Initial Herpes Infection
If you’ve recently been infected with genital herpes, you may not know since you may not have all the symptoms at all, or you may have symptoms that you could mistake for another problem. Classic symptoms of a first herpes infection are painful sores, blisters or ulcers. These lesions will heal in about 2 to 3 weeks.
Subsequent episodes, if they occur, are often milder and shorter in duration than first episodes, due to your body’s production of virus-fighting antibodies. Outbreaks can occur rarely or several times per year.
Prescription medications can shorten the length of an outbreak or, if taken early enough, can even prevent outbreaks from occurring. Some people choose to take antiviral medication daily. This can reduce the number of outbreaks or even prevent them completely. Discuss your options with your healthcare provider.
Herpes Preventing Transmission
To minimize the risk of transmitting genital herpes to a partner, abstain from sexual activity during outbreaks, take daily antiviral medication, and always use a condom.
Your Feelings About Having Herpes
Initial Emotional Reaction to Herpes
For many people, the emotional impact of herpes can be more distressing than the physical symptoms. Initially, herpes can impact how people see themselves, and cause worry about how others will see them. It’s common to feel anxious, depressed, isolated, fearful of rejection, and a diminished sex drive. However, with time and support, these feelings significantly diminish over time for most people.
After The Initial Herpes Diagnosis Reach Out – Don’t Isolate
Seeking support from a medical practitioner, friend, support group or sex therapist can greatly ease your adjustment to living with herpes. You don’t have to face this alone.
The Meaning of Herpes
Having herpes does not mean you are defective, tainted, unlovable, damaged goods, or reduced to a life without sex.
Having herpes does mean you have a very common, chronic, yet manageable skin condition.
Remember, 70 million people have adjusted to living with herpes. You can too.
Common Herpes Questions
Should I tell my partner that I have herpes?
Will I be rejected by people if they know I have herpes?
Is there a cure for herpes?
What will people think if they knew that I had herpes?
Now that I know that I have herpes, can I still have sex?
Will I infect my partner with herpes?
If I have herpes, can I have children?
If people know that I have herpes, will anyone want me?
You likely have many questions and concerns about your herpes diagnosis. You will work it through, but not without talking it through -- an essential first step. So talk with your healthcare provider, a trusted friend, a therapist, or join a support group. Remember, millions of Americans with herpes live enjoyable lives. You will, too.