Recent research has indicated that the stigma surrounding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) creates a psychological and emotional burden for individuals with these conditions. It would be expected that the stigma of having a STI would also alter the dynamics of an intimate relationship. This paper reviews the literature on the impact of STIs on intimate relationships, and considers the relevance of this research to both clinicians and researchers. In particular, the types of relationships in which the presence of a STI may have a varying degree of impact are examined. Since disclosure of a STI would also be expected to impact on a relationship, an overview of the factors involved in the disclosure of a STI to a partner is also considered. Finally, the implications of this research for both clinicians and researchers are discussed.
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