A theoretical discussion of the impact of stigma on psychological adjustment to having a sexually transmissible infection

Newton, Danielle C. and McCabe, Marita 2005, A theoretical discussion of the impact of stigma on psychological adjustment to having a sexually transmissible infection, Sexual health, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 63-69.

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Title A theoretical discussion of the impact of stigma on psychological adjustment to having a sexually transmissible infection
Author(s) Newton, Danielle C.
McCabe, Marita
Journal name Sexual health
Volume number 2
Issue number 2
Start page 63
End page 69
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Place of publication Australia
Publication date 2005-06
ISSN 1448-5028
1449-8987
Keyword(s) genital herpes
genital human papilloma virus
Summary This paper provides a discussion of the utility of stigma theory as a conceptual framework for the interpretation and analysis of the psychological impact of contracting a sexually transmissible infection (STI). Most particularly, it focuses on those viral infections that cannot be medically cured, such as genital herpes and genital human papilloma virus. Recent research in the area of STIs suggests that the stigma associated with these conditions can hinder psychosocial and sexual adjustment post-diagnosis, and provides support for the use of stigma theory as a conceptual framework with which to analyse these experiences. This paper defines the concept of stigma and presents a theoretical overview of the process of stigmatisation. Three dimensions of stigma relevant to the experience of having a STI are then presented: the degree of concealability of the condition including the social consequences of concealing a condition; the origin of the condition; and the degree of peril presented by the condition. An overview of the way in which the presence of a stigmatising condition such as a STI may affect a person’s feelings of self and his/her intimate relationships is then presented. Finally, the implications of stigma theory as a conceptual framework for guiding future research in the area of personal and interpersonal reactions to STIs is discussed.
Language eng
Field of Research 170113 Social and Community Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003230

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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