Psychosocial Impact of a Positive HSV-2 Diagnosis on Adults with Unrecognized HSV-2 Infection

Allison Provenzale, Kara Evans, Julie Russell, Tammy Hoory, Hayley Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the current research on the psychosocial impact of a positive herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) diagnosis on asymptomatic adults. Design and Sample: A structured review of PubMed, CINAHL, and MEDLINE resulted in 8 articles published between 2000 and 2008. Measures: Articles were included if they investigated psychosocial reactions to HSV serological testing, including asymptomatic individuals, and used measurement instruments with adequate psychometric properties. Results: The studies included participants of various backgrounds, including individuals with a new HSV-2 diagnosis concurrently receiving human immunodeficiency virus treatment, students within a university setting, and an HMO population. Current research indicates that a diagnosis of HSV-2 does not result in persistent psychosocial morbidity. However, studies that assessed for more nuanced reactions noted an impact on quality of life related to herpes. Conclusions: Further research is needed to confirm these findings among varied populations, to explore quality of life following HSV screening, and to identify the characteristics that may make particular individuals more susceptible to adverse psychological consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-334
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Psychological morbidity
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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