When patients are diagnosed with a treatable sexually transmitted infection it is vital that testing and treatment of their sexual partners is properly considered, discussed and supported. Research shows that a substantial proportion of the partners of such patients will be infected but unaware of this, warranting efforts to ensure partner notification is facilitated and completed successfully. Treatment of infected partners will help them avert complications and reduce the duration of infectiousness, potentially curbing further sexual transmission. This is particularly important where HIV is concerned. Identification of new cases of HIV through partner notification means those individuals can commence antiretroviral therapy earlier, improving their prognosis and limiting further transmission of HIV.
These guidelines are under review and awaiting endorsement by the Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections Standing Committee (BBVSS).