Studies suggest that for many individuals who discuss their STI diagnosis with a partner, the experience is better than they had anticipated.
However, a patient may sometimes be reluctant to notify a contact due to concerns including a fear of loss of confidentiality or possible negative repercussions. While Australian research suggests that few index patients report physical or verbal abuse as a result of notifying contacts, where these are possible, alternative strategies to consider include provider referral, health department or specialist contact tracing services. Anonymous notification services are also available via web-based services (see 2.7).
- Take the time to get a sense of any real or perceived concerns the index patient may have in notifying contacts.
- Discuss a variety of notification methods with the index patient and let them decide.
- Be aware that people may differ in their ability to successfully notify partners or in their preferences for raising the issue with partners.