If you have been recently diagnosed or have lived with herpes for years, support exists in abundance. There are many online herpes support groups both private and public throughout Illinois. Each group has its own unique approach to developing support networks and communities for those who suffer with the stigma of herpes. Some groups focus on emotional support, some on networking or dating, and others on how to live with the disease, offering tips on healthy living and outbreak management. Most groups offer some combination of support and services. It may seem intimidating or scary at first, but once you take that first step, you’ll wish you had done it sooner. Please read through the descriptions carefully, as each group has its own focus and personality. We have listed a few of them below for your convenience.
A public group of 784 members, Illinois H Friends is an online open group that does not require membership for approval. Members can keep their information and emails private. Illinois H Friends keeps members informed on recent advances and medical breakthroughs, and brings people together in fellowship. It encourages socialization through its meetup group, Chicago H Social group.
If you’re looking for an event rich group, this friendly and diverse HPV and/or herpes support group may just do the trick. With over 824 members and 2 to 3 social event Meetups per month, you’re sure to find a group that you enjoy. Joining is easy and private. Simply fill out your profile and the organizer will review it for approval.
The organizer of cHicago Friends encourages honesty and living a shame-free life. Having “the talk” isn’t easy. Being able to socialize with others who have “the gift” makes it easier to pursue fulfilling lives and relationships. This Illinois herpes support group offers a safe place to vent, commiserate, learn, grow and discover. They are looking forward to meeting you.
This member-focused group of 315 people is specifically anti-discriminatory and encourages all members regardless of race or appearance. If you suffer from HSV 1, HSV 2 and HPV you can join this group. Discretion is paramount and your identities are protected. Founded in 2003, POC Chicago is run by members. Opportunities abound for active participation.
This group knows how to have fun. Though the only group listed that charges a fee for their upgraded membership, they offer a plethora of perks. This is a site that supports you. Whether you are looking to date, be educated, or find support. They have both regular and video chat, phone apps, blogging opportunities (with privacy features) and interest-specific forums on such topics as photography, men, women, et cetera.
Chicago isn’t the only city in Illinois with an active herpes support group. Founded in 2001, this group’s 278 members do their best to organize events throughout the month, covering quite a large area. Support and socialization are the main focus of this small but active group. Prairie Friends understands that privacy is important and reminds members that being a public and open group, email ID’s are not hidden and messages are not moderated.
St. Louis and Metro East residents with HSV, HIV, HPV and any other STD are encouraged to attend. Living with an ST is often a lonely and self-isolating event causing depression and sadness. This community was created as a place for people with STD’s to meet and socialize, to know that they are not living alone and that they have support.
STL ArcH Friends wants you to live a rich, balanced life. Their goal is for you to be active with their community and to develop a network of online support as well as participate in planned social outings and events. A secret Facebook group allows the confidential exchange of information, support, education, and events. You can join by invitation only. If interested, please send a request to join to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for approval.
Not intended as an online dating community, this Illinois herpes support group is primarily focused on disseminating educational information on STD and herpes research, providing support, offering a place for those living with an STD to seek out advice guidance and friendship. They offer extensive resources on their resource page on how to cope with and manage symptoms, the latest in scientific discoveries and other supportive information.
STL ArcH is always interested in your feedback and encourages suggestions and ideas on how to improve services and support.