The Prevalence of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomonas in Sexual Partnerships: Implications for Partner Notification and Treatment

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Abstract

Background:

Treatment of sex partners by patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) may prove to be an effective strategy in reducing reinfection and preventing the sequelae of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, limited data exists regarding STIs within sexual partnerships (dyads).

Objective:

The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC), and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) in sexual dyads to estimate the potential yield and limitations of PDPT.

Methods:

Male and female STI clinic attendees were invited to participate. Index subjects and partners were interviewed and tested for CT, GC, and TV. All partners were sought regardless of infection status of the index subject.

Results:

Of 210 dyads, the prevalence in index subjects was CT, 46%; GC, 18%; and TV, 14%. Considering the partners of 72 CT-only-infected index subjects, 57% had CT, 6% had GC, and 11% had TV. Considering the partners of 35 index subjects with GC or GC–CT coinfection, 57% had GC and/or CT; however, in 20% of partners, unsuspected TV was present. Among 74 dyads with uninfected index subjects, 26% of partners had an STI. Among the partners of 19 index subjects with TV only, 11% had CT, 5% had GC, and 37% had TV.

Conclusion:

In our clinic population, a substantial number of partners had infections different from or in addition to those infections in the index. Many of these infected partners would not be diagnosed and treated using PDPT. Partners of index attendees without detected infection were at high risk (26%) for STI, mostly CT.

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