Patient and partner perceptions about preventing genital herpes transmission
Research over the past decade has provided a new understanding of genital herpes transmission and measures that can reduce transmission risk. It is unclear, however, how those affected by genital herpes access and interpret this information to make decisions about risk behaviours. This study measured how people with genital herpes and their partners perceived prevention methods, barriers and facilitating factors, and information sources. Formative evaluation was conducted, and survey data were collected from visitors to four websites (n=1849). Results suggest that the prevention messages of refraining from sex during disease outbreaks and condom use have had the greatest reach. Misconceptions about the potential role of suppressive antiviral therapy for genital herpes prevention persist among a substantial percentage of respondents. Accurate information concerning transmission between outbreaks, the effectiveness of condoms and the role of antiviral medication is critical in preventing the spread of genital herpes.