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.
- Clinical medicine
- Mental health
- Sexually transmitted disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health