GP’s notice may be better than partner’s for STI

GP NOTIFICATION may be more effective than relying on people with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to notify exposed partners, particularly in cases of casual relationships, a conference was told.

Dr Siobhan Reddel, from the Burnet Institute, Melbourne, and the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Canberra, found provider referral may be more appropriate in some circumstances than partner notification.

After a literature review and interviews with 30 patients, Dr Reddel concluded provider referral was preferable for casual or ex-partners of index cases, although she conceded it was “more expensive and time-consuming”.

Patient referral was less effective with repeat infection or where the index case is male, she found.

Men were half as likely as women to have their contacts satisfactorily treated within 28 days of diagnosis with a bacterial STI, she told the Communicable Disease Control conference.