60. THE RIGHT THING TO DO: PATIENTS' VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES OF TELLING PARTNERS ABOUT CHLAMYDIA Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Partner notification for patients diagnosed with chlamydia is recommended to assist in controlling the increasing incidence of this often asymptomatic but treatable infection. Few studies, however, have ascertained the views on partner notification from those who are often expected to perform it - the individuals who have been diagnosed with chlamydia. As part of a larger combined qualitative-quantitative methods study of partner notification, 40 in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with people diagnosed with chlamydia from clinics in Victoria, ACT and Queensland. Reactions to chlamydia diagnosis, as well as reasons for, and feelings about, telling their sexual partners about this infection were explored. Common reactions to initial diagnosis were surprise, shock and shame, as well as relief about being able to put a name to symptoms. Many spoke of relief on learning the condition was treatable. Both men and women commonly saw partner notification as a social duty, and cited concerns about their own health and the health of others as a reason for telling partners and ex-partners about the diagnosis. An infrequent reason offered for partner notification was to confront a partner to clarify fidelity. Reasons for not contacting a partner were typically fear of reaction, or a lack of contact details. Although participants reported sexual partners exhibiting a variety of reactions when told of the diagnosis, results showed that for almost everyone, the experience of notifying their partner was better than they had expected. Views about taking antibiotics to the partner varied according to the currency of the relationship, with some feeling it could be offered as appeasement, and others feeling it might be seen as intrusive. Overall, the findings from this study suggest that partner notification by people diagnosed with chlamydia is achievable, with many of these results likely to be transferable to other settings.

authors

  • Temple-Smith, MJ
  • Hopkins, CA
  • Fairley, CK
  • Tomnay, JE
  • Pavlin, NL
  • Parker, RM
  • Russell, DB
  • Bowden, F
  • Hocking, JS
  • Pitts, MK
  • Chen, MY

publication date

  • 2007