An Australian study found that more general practitioners have an unfavorable view of patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) for the treatment of sexual partners of patients with chlamydia. PDPT involves the patient delivering antibiotics (e.g., single-dose azithromycin) to their sexual partner(s), without the partner attending a consultation with a health professional.

Studies have shown PDPT to be as effective as, and in some cases more effective, than patient referral in both the proportion of sexual partners treated, and in reducing re-infection rates. PDPT is currently used in Sweden and parts of the United States, and has been recommended as an option for the management of chlamydia in draft guidance from the U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

PDPT provides flexibility for treatment of partners who are unwilling or unable to attend a consultation with a health professional. However, PDPT is a controversial practice as it involves a health professional providing medication for an individual that they have not met, nor clinically evaluated. Appropriate guidelines and legislation may make the use of PDPT more acceptable.

1. Pavlin NL, Parker RM, Piggin AK, et al. Better than nothing? Patient-delivered partner therapy and partner
notification for chlamydia: the views of Australian general practitioners. BMC Infectious Diseases 2010; 10: 274. (open access)