Partner Notification for Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Peru: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in a High-Risk Community

Jesse L. Clark, Corey M. Long, Jessica M. Giron, Julio A. Cuadros, Carlos F. Caceres, Thomas J. Coates, Jeffrey D. Klausner
2006 Sexually Transmitted Diseases  
Objectives: Notification and treatment of sex partners after diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is essential to reduce reinfection and further transmission. Goal: The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of partner notification and subsequent health-seeking behavior in a highrisk population in Lima, Peru. Study Design: STD-infected participants of an HIV/STD prevention trial completed a questionnaire concerning partner notification. Results: Of the 502 STD-positive
more » ... e 502 STD-positive subjects, 287 completed the survey. Among survey participants, 65% informed their primary partner and 10.5% informed casual or anonymous partners. Reasons for failure to notify varied by partner type and included not understanding the importance of partner notification, embarrassment, fear of rejection, and inability to locate the partner. When notified, approximately one third of all partners sought medical attention. Conclusions: Partner notification in Peru is limited by relationship dynamics, social stigma, and limited contact information. Interventions could emphasize the importance of notification, improvement of communication skills, and introduce contact tracing programs (including Internet-based systems) and expedited partner therapy. AFTER THE DIAGNOSIS OF A SEXUALLY transmitted disease (STD), notification and treatment of recent sex partners is essential to limit the spread of disease and reduce the risk of reinfection. The issue of voluntary partner notification has been studied in a variety of social settings in the United States and Europe. 1-12 Through partner notification, recent sex partners of patients diagnosed with an STD are informed of their potential exposure and need for testing. Current programs are based either on direct notification by the patient or third-party notification by the healthcare provider or a public health authority. 2,3,7,13-16 Although third-party referral is generally more effective than patient-1220,
doi:10.1097/01.olq.0000240289.84094.93 pmid:17016236 fatcat:gasvdlr5tnbwdgg3xo5yiolfku