Patient and physician partnerships in managing genital herpes

J Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;186 Suppl 1:S57-65. doi: 10.1086/342964.


Genital herpes simplex virus infections are widespread throughout the world and are characterized by stigma, myth, and anxiety by patients and the public but are perceived as trivial by most physicians. Surveys in the United States, Europe, Australia, and South Africa have measured the unfavorable effect of genital herpes on infected patients, health care resources, and workplace productivity. These surveys identified limited satisfaction of patients with current care and support (41% satisfied), although satisfaction scores were greater for patients receiving suppressive antiviral therapy (56% satisfied). Bridging the gap between patients and physicians is vital for improving the management of genital herpes. Key to facilitating patient-physician partnerships is education and recognition by physicians that patients with genital herpes may have expert knowledge. In effective partnerships, physicians and patients can have informed constructive discussions such that patients share in the responsibility for managing their disease and in therapeutic decision making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Australia
  • Counseling
  • Decision Making
  • Disease Management
  • Europe
  • Health Surveys
  • Herpes Genitalis / economics
  • Herpes Genitalis / psychology*
  • Herpes Genitalis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physician's Role*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Self-Help Groups
  • South Africa


  • Antiviral Agents