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Psychological impact due to genital herpes among Central STD Clinic attendees in Sri Lanka


N.D.V. Jayasuriya ,

About N.D.V.
Senior Registrar in Venereology
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S. Sivayogan,

About S.
Professor in Community Medicine
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K. Buddhakorale

About K.
Consultant in Venereology
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Background: Genital herpes is becoming the most prevalent STI throughout the world during the last four decades. It cannot be cured completely. Studies have identified that, genital herpes patients are more susceptible to psychological distress, possibly due to its natural history of incurability, asymptomatic viral shedding, recurrences, painful ulcers and risk of transmission to the partner and to the baby. Though there were studies published overseas to assess the psychological impact among patients with genital herpes, no such studies have been reported in Sri Lanka.

Methodology: Objective: To study the psycho-social impact of HSY on patients attending the Central STD Clinic Sri Lanka. Study Setting: Central STD Clinic, Colombo. Study design: Cross sectional comparative study using HSV infected and non-infected patients who attended the STD clinic. Study population: Patients who attended the clinic having genital herpes infection and a comparative group from the same setting who did not have a genital herpes infection but having another STI at presentation. Sample size: Interviewer administered questionnaire was used on 85 genital herpes patients and 85 non infected patients. Study instrument: The study instrument included General Health Questionnaire (GHQ 30), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Questionnaire (HADQ) and the questionnaire related to socio- demographic variables.

Results: Each group was composed of 52 men and 33 women. The demographic differences among two populations were not statistically significant. Some social factors were different among two populations. Social stigmatization and the fear of transmitting to their partners were high among herpes group .This difference is statistically significant at p <0.001. The psychological distress among herpes group 66 % (n=56) was significantly higher at p < 0.001 than the non herpes group 29 % (n=25).The level of anxiety and depression among herpes group was 35% (n=30) and 23.5% (n=20) respectively. For non herpes patients 15% (n=l3) and 9% (n=8).The difference in the level of anxiety and depression among two groups was statistically significant at p <0.05.

Conclusion: Patients with genital herpes had more psychological distress, anxiety and depression compared to non herpes patients.

Sri Lanka Journal of Venereology Vol.5(1) 2014: 58-63

How to Cite: Jayasuriya, N.D.V., Sivayogan, S. and Buddhakorale, K., 2015. Psychological impact due to genital herpes among Central STD Clinic attendees in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Venereology, 5(1), pp.58–63. DOI:
Published on 26 Nov 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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