The roles of self-efficacy and pretest counseling in type 2 herpes simplex virus screening in asymptomatic adults.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To evaluate the role of counseling for patients undergoing screening for type 2 herpes simplex virus (HSV-2). Using pre- and post-screening questionnaires, we evaluated correlations between demographic factors, measures of self-efficacy and follow-through with the screening test, and willingness to take antiviral medication and share results with sexual partners.

Data sources

Subjects (N= 115) were recruited as part of usual care at a private, urban family practice. A total of 111 subjects completed pre-screening questionnaires, and 38 completed post-screening questionnaires.


The overwhelming majority of participants were (a) willing to undergo screening; (b) take suppressive antiviral medication if necessary; (c) share their results with sexual partners; and (d) consider safer sexual practices as a consequence of screening. Older patients were less willing to consider daily antiviral medication. Men who have sex with men (MSM) had lower perceived susceptibility to HSV-2 but were more likely to undergo and report screening.

Implications for practice

Future research should include predictive models for determining the most appropriate patients to screen for HSV-2 and best practices for those who test positive. Shared decision making between patients and advanced practice nurses regarding the risks and benefits of screening for HSV-2 should be a component visits that include sexually transmitted disease screening. Particular attention should be paid to those at higher risk for contracting the virus, including patients with HIV and MSM.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Freeman, M; Zychowicz, M; Feldman, G; Gordon, S

Published Date

  • May 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 313 - 323

PubMed ID

  • 22551336

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1745-7599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1041-2972

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2011.00695.x


  • eng