Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Herpes genitalis and the philosopher's stance
  1. Kilian Dunphy
  1. West Hertfordshire Sexual Health Directorate, Watford and St Albans Sexual Health Clinics, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Watford, Hertfordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kilian Dunphy, Watford Sexual Health Centre, Watford General Hospital, Vicarage Rd, Watford, Herts WD18 0HB, UK; kilian.dunphy{at}


For many people, living with genital herpes generates not just episodic physical discomfort but recurrent emotional distress, centred on concerns about how to live and love safely without passing infection to others. This article considers the evidence on herpes transmission, levels of sexual risk, when the law has intervened and to what extent health professionals should advise with respect to these issues. It proposes a mechanism by which moral philosophy might provide a rational basis on which to counsel concerning sexual behaviour.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

Other content recommended for you