Psychiatric, legal, and moral issues of herpes simplex infections

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.
      When patients first realize that they have genital herpes, they are likely to have a series of psychiatric reactions that include (1) denial, (2) a belief that there is a cure, (3) realization that they do have herpes, (4) loneliness, (5) anger toward their sexual partners, (6) fear of sexual deprivation, and (7) development of a poor self-image. One of the best coping mechanisms is to develop a social support system. Despite many concerns about sexual activities, the patient's work performance often goes on as before. By 1985, law suits by'patients against those who allegedly gave them herpes had not resulted in awards at the Appeals Court level and one malpractice suit against physicians was not awarded. Genital infections in children must be regarded as potential child abuse by physicians. Morally, it is right for an infected person to disclose the existence of herpes to a potential partner but this is not always done for fear of compromising a relationship in its early phases. Because one's original infection may be asymptomatic, relating the time of acquisition of an infection to an act of infidelity cannot be judged solely on the basis of the time of the herpetic breakout.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
      AAD Member Login
      AAD Members, full access to the journal is a member benefit. Use your society credentials to access all journal content and features

      Purchase one-time access:

      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Luby ED
        • Gillespie O
        Psychological responses to genital herpes.
        Helper. 1981; 3: 2-3
        • Manne S
        • Sandler I
        Coping and adjustment to genital herpes.
        J Behav Med. 1984; 7: 391-410
        • Luby ED
        • Klinge V
        Genital herpes: a pervasive psychosocial disorder.
        Arch Dermatol. 1985; 121: 494-497
        • Bierman SM
        Recurrent genital herpes simplex infection: a trivial disorder.
        Arch Dermatol. 1985; 121: 513-517
        • Connor-Greene PA
        The role of counseling in the treatment of genital herpes.
        J Am Coll Health. 1986; 34: 286-287
        • Goldmeir D
        • Johnson A
        Does psychiatric illness affect the recurrence rate of genital herpes?.
        Br J Vener Dis. 1982; 58: 40-43