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Contact tracing for STIs - new resources and supportive evidence.

Reddel S, Edmiston N

  • Journal Australian family physician

  • Published 14 Sep 2012

  • Volume 41

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination 128-32


Contact tracing of sexual partners is an important part of the clinical management of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and initiation of contact tracing is the responsibility of the diagnosing clinician. Research has shown that some general practitioners would like to improve their skills in this area.

This article outlines new resources and evidence to assist GPs to initiate contact tracing when a patient is diagnosed with an STI.

Most STIs are diagnosed in general practice so the involvement of GPs in contact tracing is crucial. The aims of contact tracing are to prevent re-infection of the index case, minimise complications and reduce the population prevalence of STIs in the community. Contact tracing begins with a conversation with the index patient about informing their sexual partner(s). The patient can then decide to inform their own contacts (patient referral) or organise for someone else to inform them (provider referral). Initiating contact tracing in general practice can be particularly effective if the resources and methods are tailored to the specific needs of the index patient. New resources provide clearer guidelines and tools to assist GPs in this area.