Genital herpes virus infection is an important target for health education efforts because of its apparently rising incidence in the college student population and because it can have potentially serious psychological as well as medical consequences. In order to better understand the health education and counseling needs of students, the present study surveyed knowledge and attitudes about genital herpes of 190 university students using a gynecology clinic and of 161 students using a general medical clinic. The students were found to have a high degree of familiarity with the disease, its cause, and mode of transmission, but tended to view the consequences of the disease as more severe than is actually warranted by the common medical complications. There was some degree of misinformation about prevention and treatment of the disease and some negative attitudes about patients suffering from it, but the survey respondents endorsed a high level of responsible behavior with regard to the disease and expressed some optimism about the possibility of adapting to it. These findings suggest specific misconceptions about genital herpes that might be amenable to a mass education approach. They also suggest the need for a counseling program that centers around reasonable reassurance and appropriately positive psychological and medical management for newly diagnosed patients.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the American College Health Association|
|State||Published - Dec 1984|