Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Jessica E. Toft


Social Work


Having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) affects people of all ages, races, and cultural backgrounds. Being diagnosed with an STI has implications across the lifespan. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of grief and loss on having a sexually transmitted infection and how these effects manifest across the lifespan of an individual. Using a mixed-methods design, ten individuals responded to an anonymous Qualtrics survey and answered a series of questions related to grief, loss, and having an STI. Data was analyzed using descriptive and open-coding techniques from the survey responses and then linked to the existing literature. The findings indicated that the majority of respondents experienced some type of loss related to having an STI, as well as stigma from society. Also, the findings indicated that several of the respondents experienced some type of positive growth and change as a result of being diagnosed with an STI. These findings outline the need for further research in this area to develop effective social work intervention strategies on a micro, mezzo, and macro level.

Included in

Social Work Commons