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McBride et al (see page 150) evaluate instructional and packaging information for patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT).1 PDPT, also known as expedited partner therapy (EPT), is the practice of providing medication or a prescription to a patient with a treatable sexually transmitted infection (STI) to deliver to their sex partner(s). The authors aptly point out that for the intervention to work at the consumer level, patients must deliver the medicine and partners must take it.
These seemingly simple behaviours rely on very complex concepts such as trust and communication. Those who deliver the PDPT must understand the importance of their task, must be good communicators and must abandon their worries of stigma, fear of disclosure and possible rejection by their partner. They must trust that the procedure is safe and legal. Those who receive must trust both the person who delivers the medication package and the persons who prepared it. Trust may be difficult given that the act of delivery itself may be an admission of infidelity and, therefore, a breach of trust. Despite all these apparent obstacles, population-based studies in the USA and UK found that …
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