Advocacy for Herpes has never truly existed, we believe, because of stigma. Herpes is the most heavily stigmatized STI, by far. It could also be the most heavily stigmatized medical condition, period. It’s hard to demand fair treatment and prevention, when you’re in the closet about your condition.
We’ve been hard at work to ask for Herpes treatment, cure and prevention. Here’s a glance into what we’ve been up to:
Legislative Affairs: In the FY 2022 appropriations cycle HCA met for the first time with members of the Senate Appropriations LHHS subcommittee to ask for a Dept of Health & Human Services national strategy and strategic plan for treatment and prevention of Herpes Simplex Virus.
This work is ongoing, as the senate budget report has not been released. We’re looking to build our network of advocates, including patients and HSV field experts in all 50 states. If you can help please contact us.
Partnerships: Without the support of field experts, our ask for Herpes treatment and prevention won’t go far. To make our advocacy more meaningful, we need Herpes Simplex Virus experts (virologists, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, pathologists, neurologists, STI experts, women’s health, etc.) who agree that better treatment and prevention is urgently needed. We’re working with a panel of field experts to guide our work and are always looking for more partners. Contact us if this is you.
Organizational Partnerships: Alignment with organizational partners is critical and we meet regularly with our colleagues who support our work at NCSD, Beyond AIDS, IDSA, ASHA, NASTAD and more.
Public and Media Relations: Nothing puts pressure on like a powerful story. We’re working on making inroads with the press and have some important stories in the works.
Community Building: We’re constantly growing our membership and build our army of patient advocates.
Fundraising: Skipping all the incremental work above, one of the most fastest and direct ways to advance a cure for Herpes Simplex Virus is to fund cure research. Two active campaigns we’re fundraising for, are Keith Jerome’s gene editing research at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center and Dr Harvey Friedman’s research at UPenn. Both provide much hope to the 6 billion living with HSV globally.
Want to join our advocate army? We need patients, HSV field experts of every discipline, and organizational partners to help us chart the path forward. Email us, and let’s get to work!