Do you think 15 minutes of your time can help make a HUGE difference in the fight against herpes? Yes, it can! If you’ve been wanted to do *something* to help turn herpes into an obsolete virus, here’s your chance.
April is National STD Month, and we are trying to use that as a rallying cry for action. We want to convince Oprah to do an hour-long segment on this “invisible epidemic”. If her show can turn an obscure book into a New York Times bestseller, imagine what it could do to speed up the development of a vaccine (or even possibly a cure) for herpes! As they say, strength is in numbers – and that’s something we in this community have. Here’s what to do.
Write a Letter
Please take 10 minutes and write a letter. Feel free to use this letter (or pieces from it) if you’re not sure what to say. Other things you might like to include:
• A brief recap of how you contracted herpes, and how it has affected your life
• Any statistics not mentioned in the form letter that made an impact on you (please be sure to include a link to your source for the information, too)
• A photo of yourself, so that the producer can see you are a normal, real person who just happens to have a common, but highly-stigmatized, skin condition
Call for Action
Whatever your letter says, please make sure it ends with the following call to action; we want to present a “united front” in what we are asking the public to do.
"Actions 1-2-3 against HSV":
1. Get tested. Make it a routine practice to request a HerpeSelect test (or one of the other tests recommended at http://www.ashastd.org/pdfs/blood_test.pdf) when you go for your annual physical exam. Blood tests can also be done anonymously, using a service like www.requestatest.com.
2. Educate yourself about herpes. Read this fact sheet and check out the other resources at www.ashasted.org -- to protect yourself, as well as to spread compassion to the millions of people who currently have HSV.
3. Donate to worthwhile university research programs that are actively working on new treatments that might lead to a vaccine (or even a cure!) at either www.herpesisnormal.com or www.curehsv.com. Both of these websites provide direct links to promising research at Duke, Harvard, and the University of Florida. You can also donate specifically to HSV research at the American Social Health Association website (https://www.ashastd.org/commerce/donations/donation_form_cc.cfm).
Send the Letter
Send the letter to the producers at the Oprah show. You can send it electronically, by mail – or both! Please try to do this by April 6, as we are trying to flood the Oprah producer offices with emails and letters at the same time.
There are a few options for sending your letter.
• Send it to the “main gateway” for new Oprah show ideas at https://www.oprah.com/ord/plugform.jsp?plugId=216. However, you’ll need to be brief: this site only accepts letters up to 2000 characters. Please feel free to use this brief message, if you need some ideas on what to say.
• Send it directly to the email boxes for each producer. Go to the Oprah.com producer blog website (http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20090313-tows-producer-facebook-blogs). You’ll see the photos for each producer; click on their name. To the right of their blog, you’ll see an “About Me” section – click on “send message” (NOTE: you *will* need to set up a username/password on Oprah.com in order to do this). Please send your letter to each producer, but especially to Gina, as I believe a show on herpes would fall under her purview.
• Send a hardcopy to:
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Attention: Show Producer Gina S.
PO Box 909715
Chicago, IL 60690
Let us know you sent a message to Oprah!
Please take a second and post to this thread – letting us know that you’ve sent a letter, and how you’ve sent it (electronically and/or the mail).
Forward this message to others!
Please forward this message to others who want to do *something* to bring much-needed attention to HSV.
Thanks for taking action – by working together, we can move forward in finding a solution to the herpes epidemic. And please keep checking back on this forum; we will be posting more “calls to action” in the near future!