The HHP Advocacy Page

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Click here for Della's list of contact information for various publications.

Addresses for lots of U.S. officials, plus letter writing tips, tools and other neat stuff:

Here's another site for government addresses - this includes state and territory officials as well as federal.

Thanks M'sMom

Sample letter also courtesy M's Mom. Feel free to copy and paste with appropriate blanks filled in.

(Insert proper addressing protocol for this official here)

Dear (insert public official's name here)

As a parent and a voting member of your constituency, I would like to ask for your help in fighting the spread of the herpes simplex virus. I have recently been made aware by personal experience of this rapidly spreading threat to our health and well being and am appalled at how little I knew about it. Like many people, I thought that sexually transmitted diseases were fairly rare and restricted to that portion of the population that engages in risky and anonymous sex practices. I was quite shocked to find than about one quarter of our adult population, including virgins and faithfully monogamous persons, are already infected genitally with this virus. The stigma associated with genital herpes is particularly amazing given that better than half of the population is infected with the HSV virus in the form of cold sores. While herpes is not in itself usually life-threatening, , it can be fatal to newborns and infection does increase a person's risk of contracting other potentially fatal STDs like AIDS. Some research indicates a relationship between herpes simplex and Bell's Palsy, Alzheimer's Disease and other serious illnesses. 

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the situation is the ignorance of both the general population and medical professionals about this disease. Many widely held opinions about herpes, including that it can only be spread when lesions are present, that use of condoms prevents transmission, and that its spread is restricted to those who engage in promiscuous sexual practices, are being shown by research to be untrue. Also, herpes is not checked for in standard STD screenings and the wide range of presentations make it very difficult to diagnose by description. The rapid spread of herpes can be largely attributed to people who are unaware that they are infected since they not have "classic" symptoms and have not been told by a doctor that they are infected

I would like to ask your help in combating the spread of this disease by ensuring that public health officials are well informed on this subject, that sex education programs include accurate information about herpes, and that research into cures and vaccinations for herpes simplex are funded and encouraged where ever possible.

Thank you for your support 

(your name and snail mail address go here)

Text of a letter sent by M'sMom to Glamour Magazine thanking them for some mention of herpes

Thank you so much for including information on the Herpes Simplex Virus, in your June 2000 issue (50 Perplexing Sex Questions). This STD is spreading very quickly, and few people have accurate information about it - until they are infected. One point worth mentioning: HSV-1, "the cold sore virus", lives happily in the genital area as well and can be transmitted from mouth to genitals via oral sex. Some thirty percent of
new genital herpes cases, are caused by HSV-1. The POCKit test will not check for HSV-1 infection only HSV-2, which is the more traditional genital herpes. The HSV-specific Western Blot test, offered by the University of Washington checks for both and is much more accurate than the older commercially available blood tests. Again, thank you for your straight-forward and accurate coverage of this important health issue.