Partner notification (PN) may be defined as the process of providing access to specific forms of healthcare for sexual contacts who may be at risk of infection from an individual (index case) diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The PN process includes providing access to advice, testing and if appropriate treatment for known sexual contacts rates, prevent long term complications of infection, offer health education opportunities and encourage behaviour change.
PN has been used to help contain the spread of STIs since the early 1900s. Aside from individual clinical benefits PN has important public health benefits including; controlling the spread of STIs, reducing STI related morbidity and mortality and reaching people with asymptomatic STI infections.
As the professional organisation representing Sexual Health Advisers (SHA) in the UK the Society of Sexual Health Advisers (SSHA) commissioned the updating of it’s guidance on partner notification in order to:
– support SHAs, clinicians and service providers in the delivery of high quality PN.
– support the consistent commissioning and monitoring of services to ensure high
– standards of PN regardless of provider.
– Apart from breaking the chain of infection effective PN can reduce re-infection
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