Randomized trial shows patient-delivered partner treatment superior to partner referral in male urethritis

Ensuring that the sexual partners of patients diagnosed with urethritis are also treated remains a challenge since the traditional methods of partner referral are usually ineffective.

Kissinger and colleagues from Tulane University performed a randomized trial involving men diagnosed with urethritis at a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic. Patients were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: (1) standard partner referral (PR), (2) booklet-enhanced partner referral (BEPR), or (3) were given antibiotics for up to 4 sexual partners (patient delivered partner treatment, PDPT). At baseline and after one month, patients were tested for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhea and were asked to provide information about each partner.

Of the 977 enrolled men, patients in the patient-delivered partner treatment group were more likely to have contacted their partners about their infection, recommending treatment. Furthermore, among those re-tested on follow-up, men in the PDPT and BEPR arms were less likely than those in the PR arm to test positive for Chamydia trachomatis and/or Neiserria gonorrhoeae (23.0%, 14.3%, and 42.7%, respectively; ) ( P < 001).

In summary, in heterosexual men with C. trachomatis or N. gonorrhoeae urethritis, patient-delivered partner treatment was more successful than standard partner referral for treatment partners and preventing recurrence.

By Ricardo Sánchez-Ortiz, MD


Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Sep 1; 41(5):623-9.


Kissinger P, Mohammed H, Richardson-Alston G, Leichliter JS, Taylor SN, Martin DH, Farley TA

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