Experiences and preferences with sexually transmitted infection care and partner notification in Gaborone, Botswana

Int J STD AIDS. 2021 Nov;32(13):1250-1256. doi: 10.1177/09564624211033231. Epub 2021 Jul 25.


Partner notification and treatment are essential to sexually transmitted infection (STI) management. However, in low- and middle-income countries, half of partners do not receive treatment. A mixed methods study was conducted to explore experiences and preferences around partner notification and treatment in patients seeking STI care in Gaborone, Botswana. Thirty participants were administered a quantitative survey, followed by a semi-structured interview on partner notification, treatment, and expedited partner therapy (EPT). Among the 30 participants, 77% were female with a median age of 28 years (IQR = 24-36), 87% notified their partner, and 45% of partners requiring treatment received treatment. Partners who received a contact slip were more likely to have been treated than those who did not (75% vs. 25%). Contact slips were identified as facilitators of notification and treatment, while asymptomatic partners and limited clinic resources were identified as barriers to treatment. Few participants expressed a preference for EPT and concerns included preference for medical supervision, a belief their partner would refuse, and an inability to explain the treatment. Despite successful notification, partner treatment was modest within this population. Information for partners, provider counseling, and improved access to services may increase partner treatment. Education on STIs and treatment options may improve EPT acceptability.

Keywords: Africa < location; epidemiology < other; sexual behavior < other; treatment < other.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Botswana / epidemiology
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Young Adult