Living Sphere’s ‘Aussie HMate Program’ is a free support service for people with herpes (HSV-1I, HSV-2, oral, genital or ‘other’). The program matches people seeking one-to-one peer support with a ‘buddy’ who will provide ‘peer support’ and ‘mentoring’ on an individual basis via email, chat and phone.
Aussie HMates are not trained counsellors but people who have been there themselves – people who are also living with the virus themselves and who have learnt to accept and manage the condition. Their wealth of ‘life experience’ is an invaluable resource, and very often all that people really do need is to know someone else has ‘been there’ too and that they are not alone.
To request support, please use our contact form.
Note: All information shared with an Aussie HMate will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside the Aussie HMate team without the written permission of the individual concerned.
If you wish to learn more about the program, request support yourself, or apply to become an AHM yourself, please contact us.
Our Aussie HMate Team
Jeannie May – Aussie HMate Team Leader
I contracted HSV2 genitally about ten years ago. The news devastated me and I admit that I dealt with it very badly at first. It took me a long time to talk about it and even longer to ask for the emotional support that I needed in order to come to terms with having the virus for life.
The online Herpes Hangout Support Group changed my attitude and my life and I now spend most of my spare time working on ways to aid in the destigmatisation of the virus, developing information resources, providing support, and actively promoting herpes awareness.
I am also one of the founding members of the Hevent Team which organises Australia’s National Herpes Gathering. Our catchphrase is: “Celebrating life after Herpes!” because it is important to remember that life is worth celebrating , even when you do have Herpes!
Please feel free to contact me any time. I am happy to discuss any topic on the forum, correspond via email or mail, chat online or on the phone if need be.
Paul – Sydney
I just turned 43, am currently in a management position so dealing with people is nothing new yet the main part of my role.
I’m an Aircraft fanatic and although I don’t fly, my passion has taken me to NASA and also the Boeing factory to check it all out. In between dreaming of flying a 747, I love good coffee, am a good listener and very approachable plus I like to help people. Oh, I also Speaka dah Italian as my second language too.
I contracted H just under four years ago, have gone through the usual and understandable consequences of contracting it and even was too scared to put my real Christian name on my Yahoo Email for fear of I would be recognized (there’s probably only a million Pauls in Australia) So with time and realising H is just a troublesome little skin bug, things changed and thought it would be better helping people rather than letting it rule me. So here I am, feel free to say Hi.
Karen – Perth
I live in Perth and contracted HSV2 about 3 years ago. I am a 50 year old lady with 2 adult sons. I was previously married for 23 years.
After separating I had a partner who did not tell me he had HSV (perhaps he did not know himself?) and caught the virus. I took
suppressive medication for 2 years but now manage my outbreaks without it.
I am interested in helping others to reach the stage of acceptance of themselves with HSV. I have much to be thankful for and I am hopeful
of conveying a positive message to those who may need it.
Angela – our US based Aussie HMate
Angela has been around the online Herpes Community since 1997 and has had Herpes since the summer of 1995. Angela is happily married to Don who does not have Genital Herpes. Angela currently works as a volunteer to help the ongoing efforts of providing support, outreach and information.
Angela started Omaha HELP Support Group in 1999 with the help of ASHA, the HRC and her friend Darci She is a certified HELP group advisor and had to do lots of reading about Herpes Simplex Virus in order to pass her test. In spring of 2003 Angela developed a comprehensive list of local herpes support and herpes social groups called the Social Support Networking Alliance.
Together with the help of other Herpes and HPV advocates Angela gathered up a great bunch of people to create the H-Pals team so people can ask questions and not feel so alone. H-Pals – http://www.yoshi2me.com/herpes-h-pals.html