Partner notification is a public health strategy in which sexual partners of persons with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) are notified, counselled and offered services. According to recommendations published by the World Health Organization, partner notification should be voluntary, confidential and only undertaken when appropriate services are available. This paper communicates experiences from studies on partner notification in Sweden and Zambia and emphasizes the need for a contextualized approach to partner notification. In Sweden as well as in Zambia partner notification is an acknowledged strategy to prevent STDs. Methods must, however, be adjusted to the practical and cultural context in each country.