A practical handbook for health care providers managing people with HIV, viral hepatitis, other STIs and HIV-related tuberculosis.
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Contact Tracing Manual
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2.8. Supporting patients concerned about notifying contacts

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.
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