A comparison of two methods of partner notification for sexually transmitted infections in South Africa: patient-delivered partner medication and patient-based partner referral

Int J STD AIDS. 2007 May;18(5):338-40. doi: 10.1258/095646207780749781.


The objective of this study was to determine acceptability and feasibility of patient-based partner referral (PBPR) and patient-delivered partner medication (PDPM) among female sexually transmitted infection (STI) patients in a community-based STI screening study. Women were randomized to STI screening at home or at a clinic. STI patients could choose between PBPR and PDPM. Six-week follow-up interviews, and in-depth interviews, were conducted. STI prevalence was high. Most of the 106 women with an STI chose PDPM, mainly because partners would not have time or would not want to attend a clinic, and to ensure that partners received treatment. Nearly all partners reportedly took medication (94; 89% took it in front of the woman) or went to a clinic for treatment (92%). No adverse events were reported. Good communication emerged as the key to successful partner notification. In conclusion, PDPM could be used as a strategy to improve STI treatment coverage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Communication*
  • Contact Tracing / methods*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Self Medication / methods*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission*
  • South Africa