Counseling the patient who has genital herpes or genital human papillomavirus infection
Educational counseling has an important role in managing patients who have viral STIs, such as genital herpes and genital HPV infections. Given the lack of a curative therapy for both, patients may require long-term management and may need to be attentive to recurring symptoms. In addition, both diagnoses may raise issues of persisting infectiousness along with a need for patient counseling about the potential risk to partners and risk reduction strategies. Lastly, dozens of published papers over the years describe potential psychosocial sequelae for patients who have genital herpes, and there is a growing psychosocial literature on genital HPV as well. Clinicians can make a significant difference in patient adjustment to the diagnosis of an STI, and addressing these challenging issues will benefit patients greatly.