Genital herpes: the psychological consequences

Br J Med Psychol. 1985 Dec;58 ( Pt 4):307-15. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8341.1985.tb02647.x.


This study investigated the psychological consequences of genital herpes among 42 men and women. The impact of the disease was assessed relative to five life-areas: sexual functioning, interpersonal relationships, emotional responses, self-concept, and work or school performance. The impact of genital herpes can be best understood when placed in the context of the ethical issues raised by the disease, the individual sufferer's personal development, psychodynamics and self-concept, and the meaning which genital herpes has come to have in society. It was found that for some individuals this illness produces psychological reactions of sufficient severity to warrant psychotherapeutic intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Ethics
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Development
  • Psychological Tests
  • Self Concept
  • Sexual Behavior