Partner Notification – Characterization of the Population and Preferences of 100 Consecutive Patients of the Venereology Consultation in a Portuguese Hospital
Introduction: Partner notification plays a key role in the epidemiological control of the increasingly frequent sexually transmitted infections (STI).
Material and Methods: One hundred consecutive patients from the Venereology consultation of the Santa Maria Hospital in Lisbon answered a questionnaire on notification of partners.
Results: Forty three of the individuals had a previous history of STI, 25 of which had a previous diagnosis of HIV infection. Sixty-four patients said that they informed their partners about the diagnosis. Of those who did not inform, 50% no longer have contact with the partners and 36% consider that was not important. Regarding partner notification methods: 98% found appropriate to bring a leaflet about the disease to the partners; 72% would agree to give a consultation authorization to the partner, 58% considered that taking the medication directly to the partner would be an option, 58% thought appropriate that the partner's family doctor call them for a consultation; and 42% considered appropriate to send an email or mobile message.
Discussion: The high percentage a previous STI diagnosis suggests this is a group of individuals with the highest risk of STI transmission. A high percentage (36%) of those who did not inform the partners felt that it would not be important, which may reveal a failure of communication from the health professional. The method considered the most suitable was passive reporting.
Conclusion: It is necessary to improve effective partner notification at it is highly needed to reduce the incidence of STI.
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