Partners of patients with an STD are likely to be infected
themselves and should be offered treatment. Partner notification and referral
can be one of the most important ways to detect and treat asymptomatic patients.
Confidentiality, a non-judgmental attitude and the absence of coercion are
important for the success of partner notification. The WHO recommends
epidemiological treatment (treatment based solely on the diagnosis of the index
patient without any laboratory investigation) be given to all
An important implication of the low positive predictive value of
some flowcharts is the over treatment of partners, resulting in unnecessary
drugs given and the psychological cost of inappropriate labeling.
The syndromic approach to STD case management includes a
comprehensive public health approach to patient care.