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How to Notify Partner that You Have a STD

Informing a partner that you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a sensitive and arduous task. The traditional method has been to simply tell your partner that they need to seek treatment. This approach is difficult as the stigma associated with STDs often preclude frank notification.

A new study, found in the online British Medical Journal (, analyzes three innovative communication methods to improve compliance and ease the burden.

Study authors performed a systematic review of 14 studies involving 12,389 women and men diagnosed with a common sexually transmitted infection, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and non-specific urethritis.

The review encourages physicians to inform individuals with the sexually transmitted disease on various strategies to deliver the news to a partner. In some cases, this may include providing a home testing kits or drugs to help reduce infection rates.

The strategies that made it easier for patients to share responsibility for the care of their sexual partners included: patient delivered partner therapy (where a patient is given drugs or a prescription for their partners), home sampling for partners, and providing additional information for partners.

All three strategies were more effective than simple patient referral (where a patient is simply encouraged to tell their partners to seek treatment).

However, the team found that simple patient referral, with extra information about the infection and its treatment that the patient can give to their partners, seemed to be as effective as patient delivered partner therapy.

Involving patients with sexually transmitted disease in shared responsibility for the care of their sexual partners improves outcomes, say the authors. Health professionals should consider these three strategies for the management of individual patients.

The paper may be viewed at this address:

Source: British Medical Journal

How to Notify Partner that You Have a STD

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). How to Notify Partner that You Have a STD. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.