Patient-delivered partner therapy for chlamydia in Australia: can it become part of routine care?

Sex Health. 2020 Aug;17(4):321-329. doi: 10.1071/SH20024.


Background Patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) is a method for an index patient to give treatment for genital chlamydia to their sexual partner(s) directly. In Australia, PDPT is considered suitable for heterosexual partners of men and women, but is not uniformly endorsed. We explored the policy environment for PDPT in Australia and considered how PDPT might become a routine option.

Methods: Structured interviews were conducted with 10 key informants (KIs) representing six of eight Australian jurisdictions and documents relevant to PDPT were appraised. Interview transcripts and documents were analysed together, drawing on KIs' understanding of their jurisdiction to explore our research topics, namely the current context for PDPT, challenges, and actions needed for PDPT to become routine.

Results: PDPT was allowable in three jurisdictions (Victoria, New South Wales, Northern Territory) where State governments have formally supported PDPT. In three jurisdictions (Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania), KIs viewed PDPT as potentially allowable under relevant prescribing regulations; however, no guidance was available. Concern about antimicrobial stewardship precluded PDPT inclusion in the South Australian strategy. For Queensland, KIs viewed PDPT as not allowable under current prescribing regulations and, although a Medicine and Poisons Act was passed in 2019, it is unclear if PDPT will be possible under new regulations. Clarifying the doctor-partner treating relationship and clinical guidance within a care standard were viewed as crucial for PDPT uptake, irrespective of regulatory contexts.

Conclusion: Endorsement and guidance are essential so doctors can confidently and routinely offer PDPT in respect to professional standards and regulatory requirements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / therapy*
  • Contact Tracing
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Documentation
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Patients*
  • Physicians / standards*
  • Public Policy
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Standard of Care


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents