The incidence and prevalence of genital herpes continue to increase in the USA, and the availability of new, accurate serological tests for herpes simplex virus (HSV) may identify millions of previously unrecognized cases. Newly diagnosed genital HSV infections place a serious burden on healthcare providers in terms of education and counselling. The study was initiated to assess the need for and potential use of an improved system for education and counselling of patients newly diagnosed with genital herpes. Patients' perspectives on current and ideal care, as well as barriers to education and counselling and recommendations are discussed. In addition, implications for practice and recommendations for future research are suggested.