Patient-delivered therapy for chlamydia: putting research into practice

Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Jun;30(6):509-11. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200306000-00007.


Background: In 2001 California State lawmakers authorized patient-delivered therapy for sex partners of patients with chlamydial infection. Several studies have suggested that patient-delivered therapy is effective in the treatment of infected partners.

Goal: The goal was to inform clinicians of the effectiveness and feasibility of patient-delivered therapy for the management of partners of sexually transmitted disease cases.

Study design: A review of studies regarding patient-delivered therapy was performed. A descriptive cross-sectional analysis of clinic data was also done. The proportion of patients with chlamydia receiving therapy for partners and stratification by year and selected characteristics were evaluated with statistical analysis software (SAS).

Results: Studies suggested patient-delivered therapy decreased the incidence of chlamydia infection and the risk of reinfection from an untreated partner. The annual proportion of cases in which patient-delivered therapy occurred at the San Francisco STD Clinic was approximately 23%.

Conclusions: Patient-delivered therapy is a beneficial and feasible addition to partner notification in the management of chlamydia. Expansion of patient-delivered therapy should be considered seriously in public health policy and clinical care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / drug therapy*
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / prevention & control
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • Contact Tracing / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Preventive Health Services / standards*
  • Sexual Partners