• It is widely believed that emotional stress triggers recurrences of both oral and genital herpes simplex virus. On a daily basis, we studied 64 subjects prospectively for 1 to 3 months; all subjects had at least one culture-proved recurrence of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 before or during the study. All subjects filled out a questionnaire that measured psychological/ emotional stress in six areas: physical health, relations with friends, relations with family, relations with sex partner(s), financial, and vocation/education. These questionnaires were mailed back to us daily. Data were analyzed by General Linear Models analysis of variance to compare stress reported on each of the 6 days before a recurrence with that on days during or after a recurrence, as well as days not temporally related to recurrence. Under these conditions, in which retrospective bias was minimized, there was no significant increase in psychological/emotional stress on any day in any area preceding a recurrence of genital herpes simplex virus.
(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:1889-1893)