These are the HC Forum Guidelines which represent what our Support Forum stands for and the rules that all members must follow at all times. What We Are Here For The fundamental purpose of our website is to provide Information, Communication, Awareness and Support. In short, we love to have fun, flirt, joke and talk about everything and anything, mostly revolving around herpes and the issues that can come up with this condition. The bottom line is that our support forum is here to help others gain a positive outlook on life, regardless of the H factor or any negative preconceptions. Forum Rules 1. Every person is entitled to support if they are respectful of other members and reaching out to our community. We welcome all members to contribute and provided that the member is following the forum guidelines they are entitled to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect, even if you disagree with their actions or opinions. If you feel very emotional about a topic and find yourself becoming critical or judgmental toward another person's post it is best not to respond. This can be especially the case if someone has done something morally wrong as you see it, or if they have a different opinion to that of your own. Unnecessarily critical or harsh responses will be removed. 2. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Respect must be upheld at all times by all members. This includes no flaming, personal criticizing, taunting or other unfriendly behavior. If you disagree with what someone else has said it is okay to say why you disagree but it must be done with RESPECT. It is not permitted for a member to simply put down another person's opinion or to ridicule another member on any level. This includes sarcastic or condescending responses such as "You've got to be kidding me?", "What an idiot" or "Are you serious?" etc.. This is intended to be a friendly, warm and inviting message forum. Genuine, fair and reasonable responses are welcome. This is not a debate club or a competition about who is the smartest or most honorable person. We talk about very personal issues that some of us cannot discuss anywhere else and everyone is entitled to support if they are writing with respect to the community. If you see something that is not right please report it to the HC-Support-Team or one of our Forum Moderators. 3. Duplicate and Cross-posting is not allowed. This is when a member posts the same information in two or more locations. Please be aware that each and every post is read by our community so there is no need to post the same information twice. If this happens all duplicate posts will be removed. 4. "Fluff" posting to increase one's post count, or post bumping to get attention, is not allowed. This is when a member makes a post just to increase their post count. These might include just a few lines or something is not really worth posting or is irrelevant to the conversation. 5. Hijacking another person's thread is not permitted. When a person posts something that is not relevant to the current conversation this is known as hijacking. Sometimes a member will override a conversation with a post about something that is completely off-topic. This is not allowed. This could be about their own story, an idea or something else that they have on their mind. If this happens the offending post will be removed or moved to a new thread. This allows the original thread to continue and gives respect to the original author's question. 6. Posts must be made in the correct forum topic where they belong. Before you make a post please have a look to see if you are posting it in the right section. For example, if you have a question about a particular remedy please post it in the Herpes Treatment Zone. If it is a completely new topic please start what is called a New Thread (this means a new conversation). 7. Advertising and solicitation is strictly forbidden within the posts of the forum and in member signatures, emails and private messages. We do not allow people to post threads or to send private messages or emails to users here that advertise or solicit any products, services, funds or donations. Explicit advertising and soliciting in signatures is also prohibited. Some lenience is given in the Herpes Cure Research threads to highlight funds, charities and research efforts that are underway, but please do not solicit donations or money for these services via our support forum. Please do not use our support service to promote a website that solicits a product, service, fund or donations, this includes making a post to promote a website or product that you are in some way affiliated with. It does not matter if it is a commercial website, a personal website or a non profit website, if you have not obtained consent and it involves solicitation it will not be permitted and will be removed. Special permission may be obtained for some websites which are of particular benefit to the community, and sponsorship rates are available if you are interested in promoting your product or service on our network. Please contact the HC-Support-Team for more information. Links in signatures must follow these guidelines: A link or promotional text for a site that is not commercial and does not solicit any products, services, funds or donations is allowed, provided the site does not violate our community standards Written permission may be obtained to advertise a charity or herpes related service link The HC Support team shall be the sole arbitrator of what does and what does not violate community standards (examples of sites not allowed include sites about products, services and charities which have not been authorized). 8. Requesting donations, money and services, petitioning, or recruiting votes for competitions is not permitted without consent. Our support forum is a free public service and no-one should need to feel pressured to donate or promote certain projects in order to be an active participant on our site. We have sections on the forum that are specifically dedicated to highlighting fundraising and charity movements, because we believe that these projects are exciting and have potential to lead to greater things. We welcome new ideas and contributions in these topics. However, posting information about this subject matter in threads where it is not relevant is not allowed. This can disrupt the conversation at hand and eventually becomes a form of spam which nobody appreciates. 9. Do not insight or provoke fear or alarm in our community. We realize that there are serious but rare complications which can arise from this virus, as they can with any virus and other health conditions. However, purposefully frightening people with atypical scenarios about HSV is not our primary agenda. Although it may be an important one in some fields, such as when lobbying for changes in legislation. From the perspective of our support service, a scare tactic type approach is not conducive in offering our friends here support, inspiration and encouragement, and we ask that this be respected while posting here in the forums. 10. Signatures are to be no more than 3 lines long with a maximum font size of 2. You can edit your signature in the "My Account" section at the right of the forum. This is a small phrase, quote or description that will appear below every post that you make. No advertising permitted. 11. Excessively large or inappropriate colored text is not permitted. Please respect the conversations taking place on the forum by typing in a reasonable sized font with an appropriate color that is respectful to the community. There is a range of text sizes, type faces and colors available for you to use so that you can personalize your posts. Please do not abuse this privilege by using these fonts to disrupt or alert the community. 12. Do not post personal, real-life information such as real names, home addresses, emails or phone numbers. This is a public forum which means anyone who is surfing the internet is welcome to come in and join our conversations. Do not post any private details such as you or someone else's real name, street address or telephone number - this type of information will be removed. Please contact the HC-Support-Team if you would like to change your username. It must be completely anonymous. Your profile page and photo, if you have uploaded one, is restricted to members only. This means that only other logged in members can view this information. However, all of the posts and threads on our forum - including your username and avatar, the image beside your name, are public for all to see. For this reason, please do not use your real name, nickname or a username that you use anywhere else, such as on messenger or other social networking sites, unless you wish to be recognized. 13. Vulgar language and inappropriate material is not allowed and will be removed. This includes discrimination, aggression or any obviously offensive posts or private messages. Genuine, honest and open discussions about sexuality are most welcome. People who willfully provoke arguments will not be tolerated on our forum. 14. Posts that discuss illegal activities, transactions or websites will be removed. This includes posts or private messages relating to selling prescription drugs such as Valtrex, or posts with websites promoting internet scams or illegal activities. 15. Each person is allowed one account only, but you can change your username easily in your account and we encourage this. It is really important to choose a username that is not negative in meaning, especially as you become more comfortable with your diagnosis and want to inspire others in our community. If you wish to change your username go to Settings (at the top right of the page) > Edit Profile > Change Username. 16. Posts containing religious views must be posted in the Keeping the Faith section. We have a section specifically for religious and spiritual conversations. Preaching is not permitted in any other section and each and every person is entitled to share their viewpoint as long as they do it respectfully. If a post is in the wrong section it will be moved or removed. Preaching on a mass level may result in a ban. 17. Your viewpoint should be stated as a contribution, not as an indisputable fact. We are not in competition with one another. No-one has all the answers. Our members come from various walks of life and naturally different people will have an array of differing experiences and opinions. We welcome all genuine and respectful discussions and no 'one' member's opinion or experience is to be considered more important than another's. 18. Closing an account and deleting threads. To close your account got to Settings (top right) > Delete My Account. In most cases we will delete your email address and close the account so that you are no longer associated with the forum. Normally posts and threads that have already been posted will not be removed as it leaves missing and incomplete information on the forums, affects other members' post counts and takes manual labor to do. Once you reach the post count of 2 or more posts you have the ability to edit your own posts, provided the post is no more than 7 days old. If there is a special circumstance where you need to remove a thread or a post please contact us so that we can help you. 19. Spamming the forum will result in an immediate ban and removal from our site. If something just doesn't make sense or looks like potential spam please report it to one of our Forum Moderators. Spam is not tolerated on our forum and will be removed as soon as it is detected. 20. Moderators and Administration have the final say on anything. If you have a complaint it must always be directed to our staff privately by email or private message, and not publicly on the website. Creating threads or posts that question or reference administrative decisions or potential administrative decisions, such as post removals and thread closures, is not permitted. We are not perfect and if you feel that we have made a mistake please feel free to contact us privately and we will review the situation. If you make a post to discuss the moderation or conduct of our administration this will be deleted and continued in private. These types of discussions are not for public concern and can cause disharmony on the forum. This includes if you need to clarify any part of our Forum Guidelines, complaints about how we have moderated certain threads, or issues that are obviously intended for the forum moderators or administration. 21. Public abuse or flaming toward an Administrator or Moderator is not permitted and may result in a ban. Our HC support staff give their time voluntarily to help keep the forum running smoothly and to make it an enjoyable place for everyone to hang out and get to know one another. We all have families and jobs outside of the support forum and donate our time here because we believe strongly in making a positive change in the lives of people who are affected by HSV. We love what we do and the friends that we have made along the way! We are only human and as such can only do so much to help each situation. We follow these guidelines to help keep a sense of harmony in our community, and sometimes this can involve making tough decisions such as removing the occasional post or mediating with members when we receive a complaint. Please do not abuse our staff or post public protests, complaints or insults about the forum administration or our support moderators as your post will be removed and it may result in a ban of your account from our community. If you have a complaint about how our Support Team manage the forum, or feel that a particular decision is unfair, please address your concerns directly to our forum administration. You can do this by sending your comments via email or by private messaging the HC-Support-Team. 22. These guidelines detail the types of behavior and activities that are allowed here, freedom of speech rights do not apply if you disobey our terms of service. If you violates our guidelines and show a disregard for them, our staff or our community you run the risk of losing your account. We reserve the right to deactivate any account and to edit or remove any content without warning. We will always try to mediate where possible and be fair in our decisions. 23. Contacting our Moderators or Administration privately with a herpes related question is not encouraged. Please do not ask the HC Forum Staff questions about herpes via private message or email as this is what the Message Board is here for. By posting your message directly on the forum you will gain not only the help of one person but the help of our whole community, and it allows our support staff to give their time where it is needed most. 24. We cannot diagnose a condition. Our forum is for support only and does not substitute for the advice of a health care practitioner. While your health and wellbeing is important to us, our community is not responsible for your own health care. In the event that you suspect that you have herpes or if they feel that you have specific medical concerns regarding actual illness, injury or other possible risks, you must consult your physician or other health care professionals as you deem necessary and as soon as possible. 25. The above rules apply to the Live Chat area and all other means of communication via our website. Please uphold these guidelines when communicating in a live discussion, in emails, forum posts and private messages.