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J Health Psychol. 2011 Jan;16(1):80-90. doi: 10.1177/1359105310367528. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

The psychological impact of genital herpes stigma.

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1
Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Rousso Bldg. 142, Bronx, NY 10461, USA. amerin@yu.edu

Abstract

This article reviews the psychological consequences of genital herpes infection through the lens of a recently proposed framework for conceptualizing concealable stigmas. We incorporate research on identity, stigma, and the connection between psychological and physical health to outline how negative stigma-related psychological consequences perpetuate distress associated with genital herpes. Our review of the research suggests a model linking negative affect and poor coping to frequent recurrences of genital herpes outbreaks. Frequent outbreaks, in turn, increase the salience of the stigma, reinforcing a stigmatized self-schema, thereby creating negative psychological consequences, continuing the cycle. We conclude by discussing the implications of this model for future research and mental health treatment.

PMID:
20656766
DOI:
10.1177/1359105310367528
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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