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New study: Sexually transmitted disease treatment can be effectively administered by sex partners

Effective control of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) requires treatment of the sexual partners of infected patients. A new study shows that providing infected men with antibiotics to give their partners is more effective than traditional means of contacting and treating the partners, according to an article in the Sept. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online. Men with chlamydia or gonorrhea were more likely to see and talk to their female partners about the STD when given medicine to give to their partners than the men who were simply told to inform their partners of their STD exposure.

Partner referral is the most common method of attempting to control STD spread and recurrence. Health care providers ask STD-infected patients to contact their sexual partners, inform them of their risk for infection, and encourage them to seek medical care. A second method, booklet-enhanced partner referral, also provides the patients with booklets that have referral tear-out cards for distribution to sex partners. The new method, known as patient-delivered partner treatment, gives the patient an antibiotic to offer to his partner.

To compare the efficacy of patient-delivered partner treatment with standard and booklet-enhanced partner referral, the researchers enrolled 977 men from an STD clinic in New Orleans. The men had all had a diagnosis of urethritis due to chlamydia and/or gonorrhea infection, and most reported two or more sex partners. The men were each randomly assigned to one of the three partner treatment arms. Nearly 80 percent of the patients completed a follow-up interview four weeks later, and 38 percent were re-tested for STDs.

The researchers found that about 70 percent of men in the patient-delivered partner treatment arm gave the intervention to their partners (giving antibiotics), compared with 58 percent of men in the booklet-enhanced arm (giving tear-out referral cards), and 48 percent of men in the standard
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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
27-Jul-2005


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