Clinical features of genital herpes, perceived causes, stress symptoms, treatments, and psychosocial factors in 70 young adults as compared to normative data for non-patient controls are described. The clinical features of the disease were congruent with those of other groups studied. Stress was viewed as the major cause of recurrence, headaches the major stress symptom, and acyclovir (an antiviral drug), was the major treatment. Statistically significant differences were found between scores obtained from the sample of young adults with genital herpes on three of four standardized psychological instruments when compared with normative data for non patient controls. Young adults with genital herpes had a lower self concept, more psychopathology, a greater frequency of daily hassles, and less intensity of uplifts. No differences were found, however, between the two groups in scores on depression.