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Accelerated partner therapy: a promising new partner treatment option
  1. Julia C Dombrowski1,2,
  2. Matthew R Golden1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  2. 2Public Health, Seattle & King County HIV/STD Program, Seattle, Washington, USA
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Julia C Dombrowski, 325 Ninth Ave, Box 359777, Seattle, WA 98104, USA; jdombrow{at}u.washington.edu

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Over the last decade, a growing body of literature has described and evaluated interventions designed to improve partner notification and treatment for curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For the most part, these studies have described expedited partner therapy (EPT), interventions meant to increase partner treatment by making it easier for partners to receive medication.1 The need for new approaches to partner treatment grew out of widespread recognition of the mismatch between the size of the STI problem and the paltry resources available for traditional partner services (PS). To date, EPT has most often involved patient delivered partner therapy (PDPT), the practice of giving persons diagnosed with an STI (index patients) medication for their sex partners. Although interest in the subject has probably been greatest in the USA, EPT studies have also come from the UK, Australia and Brazil.2–4 Available evidence suggests that EPT increases partner treatment and decreases rates of STI reinfection.1 However, these gains come at a price. Some partners who receive PDPT forgo medical evaluation, which may lead to missed diagnoses, fewer opportunities to diagnose and treat additional sex partners, and lost counselling opportunities. Furthermore, PDPT is not legal in many areas. Given these realities, it is important to develop and evaluate new low-cost, scalable models for partner treatment.

Two recent articles in Sexually Transmitted Infections provide a preliminary evaluation of a new model of EPT, accelerated partner therapy (APT). As described by Estcourt, APT includes two related approaches that diminish barriers to treatment while …

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