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There is a growing move to think smarter about partner notification. As every clinician knows, patients’ willingness to share information about exposure risk with partners or ex-partners, and their preferences as to how to do this, vary by relationship type and infection as well as more personal factors. Despite some raised eyebrows on social media for self-advertisement, Bellhouse and colleagues’ paper on the implications of “fuckbuddies” for STI transmission, partner notification and behavioural surveillance makes an important contribution to opening up these questions.1 Partner notification (PN) needs to be targeted and customised, and the better our understanding of sexual partnership typologies the better we can do this.2 Partner notification is more explicitly the focus for Suzan-Monti’s analysis of the IPERGAY study data, exploring use of street drugs and sexual contact outside main partnerships as barriers to partner notification.3 The interaction between drug use, chemsex and HIV risk behaviours described by Sewell et al 4 addresses related issues, as does a Mmeje et al’s comparative study of diagnosed chlamydia incidence in US states with, and without, expedited partner notification.5
It is always good to see research that explores the needs of vulnerable and hard to study populations. This month we publish a study of female seasonal farm workers in Morocco, a study with low HIV prevalence yet significant potential for STI and HIV acquisition and transmission, by Bozicevic and colleagues.6
Testing is another key theme this month, with a range of articles spanning HIV self-testing,7 the acceptability of oral HIV testing,8 hepatitis B and C testing among MSM in China.9 At a population level, surveillance of gonococcal antimicrobial resistance testing, in the Caribbean, is addressed by Sawatzky and colleagues.10
The hinterland between gastrointestinal and sexual pathogens has recently re-emerged as an important topic. "Gay bowel syndrome" is now an archaic usage, but the sexual transmission of organisms such as hepatitis A, salmonella and shigella has never disappeared as a public health problem. Different aspects of rectal STI in MSM are explored in two contrasting studies. Hassan et al 11 address the relationship between douching and gonococcal or chlamydial rectal infection in a population using PREP. In an elegant study using unlinked anonymous data to about classically gastrointestinal infections, Hughes et al explore their relationship with rectal chlamydia diagnoses.12
Further highlights include patient perspectives on ‘intentional’ HIV transmission,13 self perceived STI risk among Scandinavian women,14 the implications and opportunities of sexual health clinic attendance patterns for HPV vaccination,15 and trends in hospitalisation for pelvic inflammatory disease.16
Finally do not forget to read this month’s Clinical roundup.17
Handling editor Jackie A Cassell
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.