Text 2 treat - using SMS to recall clients for treatment

Int J STD AIDS. 2014 Dec;25(14):1038-40. doi: 10.1177/0956462414530108. Epub 2014 Apr 2.


Prompt treatment of patients with genital Chlamydia shortens the period of infectivity with benefits to the individual and wider community. With large numbers of genital Chlamydia notifications, predominantly occurring in younger age groups, short message service (SMS) is a potentially useful technology for recalling this patient group quickly and efficiently. In the sexual health unit of Population Health-Midwest, Western Australia, genital Chlamydia cases were recalled for treatment with an SMS. Ninety-four per cent (n = 60) of clients responded to the SMS, with 84% (n = 54) responding on the same day they were contacted. All clients (n = 64) were treated for their infection, with 72% (n = 46) having directly-observed treatment within one day of being informed of their results via SMS. Our results suggest that SMS is a highly effective, youth-friendly communication tool.

Keywords: Australia; Chlamydia trachomatis; SMS; Sexually transmitted infection; communication strategy; recall; short message service; text message; treatment; young people.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis
  • Chlamydia Infections / therapy*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patients
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Text Messaging*
  • Time Factors
  • Western Australia