Research suggests that having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as genital herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV) can negatively affect sexual well-being. However, there is little research examining factors associated with poorer sexual well-being among individuals with a STI.
This study investigated the extent to which stigma experiences, individual characteristics, and STI characteristics were associated with multiple aspects of sexual well-being among individuals diagnosed with herpes and/or HPV. Participants were an average of 36 years old (SD = 11.58) and included 188 individuals with herpes and/or HPV who completed measures of sexual activity, sexual problems, and sexual cognitive-affective factors.
The results showed that experiences of stigmatization were the most important predictors of sexual well-being. Participants who perceived were stigmatized by others as well as those who internalized negative social attitudes to a greater extent reported poorer sexual well-being across all dimensions, over and above individual and STI characteristics. The implications of these findings for sexual health professionals are discussed.
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- 1Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada.
- 2Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Feb;45(2):403-14. doi: 10.1007/s10508-014-0388-x. Epub 2014 Nov 19.
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