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Understanding perceptions of genital herpes disclosure through analysis of an online video contest
  1. Marina Catallozzi1,2,
  2. Sophia C Ebel1,
  3. Noé R Chávez1,
  4. Lee S Shearer1,
  5. Adrian Mindel3,4,
  6. Susan L Rosenthal1
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Children's Hospital of New York at New York Presbyterian, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, New York, USA
  3. 3University of Sydney School of Medical Sciences, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Australian Herpes Management Forum, Westmead, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marina Catallozzi,  Departments of Pediatrics and Population and Family Health, Columbia University Medical Center, 622 W 168th St, VC4-449F, New York, NY 10032, USA mc2840{at}


Objective The aims of this study were to examine pre-existing videos in order to explore the motivation for, possible approaches to, and timing and context of disclosure of genital herpes infection as described by the lay public.

Methods A thematic content analysis was performed on 63 videos submitted to an Australian online contest sponsored by the Australian Herpes Management Forum and Novartis Pharmaceuticals designed to promote disclosure of genital herpes.

Results Videos either provided a motivation for disclosure of genital herpes or directed disclosure without an explicit rationale. Motivations included manageability of the disease or consistency with important values. Evaluation of strategies and logistics of disclosure revealed a variety of communication styles including direct and indirect. Disclosure settings included those that were private, semiprivate and public. Disclosure was portrayed in a variety of relationship types, and at different times within those relationships, with many videos demonstrating disclosure in connection with a romantic setting.

Conclusions Individuals with genital herpes are expected to disclose to susceptible partners. This analysis suggests that understanding lay perspectives on herpes disclosure to a partner may help healthcare providers develop counselling messages that decrease anxiety and foster disclosure to prevent transmission.

  • Herpes
  • Counselling
  • Sexual Behaviour

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