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Partners best to break news of STI

Involving patients in partner notification improves the effectiveness of treatment for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections, a systematic review reports.

Asking patients to deliver treatments to their partners was also effective, found the study by UK and Swiss researchers.

An analysis of five trials showed patient-delivered partner therapy reduced risk of persistent or recurrent infection by 27 per cent in those with chlamydia or gonorrhoea.

The study, published online by the BMJ, found supplementing patient referral with information for partners was as

effective as patient-delivered partner therapy.

Study leader Dr Nicola Low, reader in epidemiology and public health at the University of Bern in Switzerland, said: 'Current methods of patient referral reach only 40-60 per cent of named sexual partners, so new strategies are needed. Involving patients in shared responsibility for the management of sexual partners improves outcome.'

The review looked at 14 trials including 12,389 men and women diagnosed with

gonorrhoea, chlamydia, non-gonococcal urethritis, trichomoniasis or a sexually transmitted syndrome.

The patient involvement measures included asking patients to deliver treatments and information to their partners, collecting samples at home and educational videos.

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