OBJECTIVE: To determine if providing Chlamydia trachomatis infected women with medication to deliver to their sex partner(s) could reduce recurrent chlamydia infections compared with the standard partner referral method. STUDY DESIGN: A observational cohort study of 178 women, 14-39 years old attending a family planning clinic, diagnosed and treated for C trachomatis between October 1993 and December 1994 was conducted (43 received patient delivered partner medication (PDPM) and 135 received partner referral cards). Women were retested before or at their annual visit. RESULTS: The mean time of follow up was 17.7 months (SD 7.7). The PDPM group (n = 43) was similar to partner referral group (n = 135) for age, race, contraceptive method, history of an STD, and follow up time. The annual recurrent infection rate was lower among the PDPM group compared with the partner referral group (11.5% v 25.5%, p < 0.05). After adjusting for age in logistic regression, women in the PDPM group were less likely than women in the partner referral group to have an incident C trachomatis infection (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.15-0.97, p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that patient delivered partner medication can protect women from recurrent C trachomatis infection compared with the standard partner referral approach. Prospective studies with larger sample sizes are under way.
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