Effects of sexually transmitted infection status, relationship status, and disclosure status on sexual self-concept

J Sex Res. 2008 Apr-Jun;45(2):187-92. doi: 10.1080/00224490802012909.


Research has indicated that having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as genital herpes and genital human papilloma virus (HPV) can have a negative impact on an individual's sexuality. The current study was designed to evaluate the effect of STI status, relationship status, and disclosure status on various dimensions of sexual self-concept. A questionnaire that evaluated the above variables was completed by 117 individuals with genital herpes, 82 individuals with HPV, and 75 individuals with no STI. The results demonstrated that having herpes or HPV had a significant negative impact on aspects of sexual self-concept. It does not appear that an individual's relationship status is a factor associated with the impact of having an STI on the sexual self-concept. Respondents who had disclosed their STI to their partners, however, had significantly more positive feelings about aspects of their sexual self-concept than those who had not disclosed their STI to their partners. The implications of these research findings for health practitioners are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Self Concept*
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / psychology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / psychology*
  • Social Perception
  • Surveys and Questionnaires