Table 1 Attitudes towards genital herpes (GH) among doctors and patients and by patient characteristics (% = agree somewhat and strongly agree)
Attitudinal statementDoctors(n = 151)Patients(n = 400)p ValuePatient characteristics
Years since diagnosisOutbreaks past 12 months
0–1(n = 40)2–4(n = 50)5–10(n = 100)11+(n = 209)0(n = 138)1–2(n = 142)3–5(n = 77)6+(n = 43)
Emotional impact of GH (%)
    I was very upset when I was first diagnosed with GH9989<0.0019594898791879091
    I have learned to live with my GH858673868389A<D88898670E>H
    I would do anything to get rid of my GH9285<0.019092937879868793E<H
    I would never tell my friends that I have GHNA706376746768667574
    I feel very embarrassed about having GH9667<0.00188826959A>CD59667484E<GH
    I am very upset about having GH9765<0.00178767057A>D59607484E<GH
    I constantly worry about having the next outbreak7538<0.00158524427A>D29354758E<GH
    Having GH is not a big deal933<0.001303230353937299E>H
Transmission risk (%)
    I can handle the outbreaks of GH, it’s the risk of transmitting the virus that really troubles me6283<0.0018870828582858672
    I think condoms are very effective in preventing someone from getting GH9360<0.0016356606166616040E>H
    I believe GH can be totally controlled by treating each outbreak6757<0.0573626052A>D67575233E>GH
    I am constantly worried that I might pass GH to my sexual partner8756<0.00178606447A>D49576167E<H
    Having GH has restricted my sex life a lotNA515850525041516265E>H
    I have not changed my sexual practice since the diagnosis of GHNA373040453342333633
    I am totally comfortable telling a new sexual partner that I have GHNA373330373936452730
  • Statements reflect wording posed to patients. For doctor statements “I” was replaced with “most patients” for all statements except the second last statement which read “I feel completely comfortable discussing GH with my patients”. Both GH patients and doctors were asked to indicate their agreement with each statement using the following scale: “agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, disagree strongly”. Independent sample t-tests (assuming unequal variances) were performed to test for significant differences between: (a) doctors and patients, (b) patients diagnosed within 0–1 years versus patients who had been diagnosed 2–4 years ago, 5–10 years ago or 11 or more years ago and (c) patients with zero outbreaks in the past year versus those experiencing one to two, three to five or six or more outbreaks in the past year.

  • Differences by patient characteristics noted if significant at p<0.05.