Serologic screening for herpes simplex virus among university students: A pilot study

Hayley Mark, Joy P. Nanda, Alain Joffe, Jessica Roberts, Anne Marie Rompalo, Johan Melendez, Jonathan Mark Zenilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: The authors examined the feasibility of conducting serologic testing for the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) among university students and assessed the psychosocial impact of an HSV-2 diagnosis. Methods: The authors recruited a convenience sample of 100 students (aged 18-39 years) without a history of genital herpes from 1 university between September 2004 and March 2006. Participants received HSV-2 antibody testing by Focus ELISA and Western Blot assays and completed a questionnaire that addressed psychological functioning. Twentyeight participants completed the questionnaire again at a 3-month follow-up visit. Results: The study revealed (1) low test-reliability in the student population, (2) that positive test results may cause a decline in psychological well-being, and (3) that substantial resources are required to support students with positive HSV-2 results. Conclusions: Test performance, psychological impact, and availability of resources for counseling students with positive diagnoses should be considered before implementing HSV testing programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2008



  • Clinical medicine
  • Mental health
  • Sexually transmitted disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this