Project: Herpes and social stigma

Contact: Julie Downs

The impact of perceived stigma can be traumatic for people who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease. Ironically, people who experience extreme stigma may neglect to tell or protect sexual partners, as such a conversation or action would trigger the negative social experience. This research focuses on elements of the stigma associated with genital herpes (a highly stigmatized but common and benign health condition), including the link between stigma and behavior. The project will culminate with the development and evaluation of an intervention aimed at reducing that stigma.