Patient delivered partner therapy (PDPT)
Patient delivered partner therapy is the practice of providing a prescription or medication to a patient diagnosed with an STI to give to their sexual partner(s) without that partner being directly examined by the health care provider. Evidence shows that PDPT reduces reinfection of the index patients1, and may reduce complications and further transmission of infection in the community. In Australia, PDPT has been regulated in Victoria since 20152, 3 and Northern Territory since 20144 to allow PDPT for partners of patients diagnosed with uncomplicated genital infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. GPs and other Primary Care Providers in other States and Territories should contact their local Health Department for PDPT advice.
In general, PDPT should be restricted to times when other means of contact tracing have failed or are considered highly likely to fail. For example PDPT would be appropriate for situations where partner(s) are unable/unwilling to attend a health service in a timely manner or patients with repeat infections whose partner(s) have not been treated. PDPT should generally not be used for patients diagnosed with more than one STI, patients whose partners are pregnant, patients at risk of partner violence or partner(s) at high risk of HIV infection such as men who have sex with men. GPs and other Primary Care Providers should check local guidelines for advice on when not to implement PDPT.
1) Kissinger P, Hogben M. Expedited partner treatment for sexually transmitted infections: an update. Curr Infect Dis Rep 2011;13:188-95