Background The effectiveness of partner notification services (PNS) for limiting syphilis transmission relies on the ability of disease intervention specialists (DIS) to find and assure treatment of partners. We measured estimates of partners found and treated due to PNS in seven jurisdictions.
Methods We reviewed early syphilis cases (primary, secondary, early latent) reported during 2015–2017 in seven jurisdictions in the United States (Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, New York City, and San Francisco). We measured the numbers of: early syphilis (index) cases interviewed by DIS, (sex) partners reported (primary cases: ≤3 months; secondary cases: ≤6 months; early latent cases: ≤1 year), partners with enough locating information to begin PNS, partners treated prophylactically, and infected partners brought in for treatment resulting from PNS. We considered partners to be brought to treatment by PNS if: 1) a DIS-assigned disposition code indicated “brought to treatment” or 2) the partner was treated 0–90 days after the index case was interviewed.
Results DIS interviewed 23,428 index patients with early syphilis (range among jurisdictions 1,106–9,388), representing 78.9% of reported cases (50.1%–99.5%). Of those interviewed, 18,482 (78.9%) reported 78,960 partners, of whom 20,771 (26.3%) had enough locating information to begin PNS. Among these partners initiated for PNS, 5,851 were unlocatable/refused PNS (28.2%, range: 23.9%–38.8%), 5,959 were prophylactically treated (28.6%, range: 2.1%–39.8%) and 5,905 were classified as infected and brought to treatment (28.4%; range: 12.1%–37.3%). After excluding partners treated before (n=1,436) and ≥90 days after (n=90) the index case interview, 4,379 partners were considered infected and brought to treatment (0.15 partners per reported case [range 0.02–0.50] or 0.18 partners per interviewed case [range 0.05–0.60]).
Conclusion For every 5 to 6 index patients interviewed, PNS resulted in 1 infected partner brought to treatment. The success of DIS in finding and bringing partners to treatment varied across jurisdictions.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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