STD Toolkit

Partner Management For Providers

Information on the process of partner notification.

Evaluation, treatment, and counseling of any sex partners of patients diagnosed with an STD is an essential strategy for prevention and control of STDs. Identified and fully supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), partner notification is an effective and important tool in breaking the chain of infection.

Clinicians are encouraged to continue asking patients to notify their sexual partners of potential exposure.

For assistance with partner notification for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, please call the Kalamazoo County Communicable Disease Prevention Program at (269) 373-5233.

Partner notification is the act of informing the sex partners of patients infected with a STD that they may have been exposed and are at risk of infection. Notification can be made by using the index - the original patient informing past sexual partners of the exposure on their own - or by giving the identifying information of the exposed partners to Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) at the local health department. The index/original patient or DIS can complete a partner notification without disclosing the source of the exposure, thus protecting the confidentiality of the index/original patient. The exposed partner is also offered STD education, counseling and referrals for testing and preventative treatment.

Kalamazoo County Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) will conduct notification of contacts to gonorrhea and chlamydia for Kalamazoo County residents only. If the exposed partner is not a resident of Kalamazoo County, the information is given, without the original patient's identifying information, to the DIS of the county where the partner resides. All cases of syphilis will continue to be followed up by DIS from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Due to an increasing number of cases reported to KCHCS, all cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea reported to the STD Clinic are prioritized for interview and partner notification services according to internal protocols based on the patients' potential risk for reinfection and health complications.

Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Prevention Specialists follow up with and provide partner services to all individuals testing positive for HIV. Please continue to submit case report forms for positive HIV tests, as this is what alerts the Prevention Specialists to the need for partner services.

If the partner (or partners) are not present at time of the infected patient's clinic visit, the provider should inform the patient that it would be best to have all partners exposed during the previous 60-90 days come into a clinic for examination, testing and treatment.

For assistance with partner notification for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, please call the Kalamazoo County Communicable Disease Prevention Program at (269) 373-5233.

To avoid missing opportunities to provide other clinical services, additional recommendations apply for certain patients, such as those unable or unwilling to contact one or more partners, or if the patient is a man who has had sex with other men.

These patients may require assistance with partner notification and/or may need to be medically evaluated because of increased risk of other STDs such as HIV/AIDS.

No data support use of EPT in the routine management of patients with syphilis. Data on the use of EPT for gonorrhea or chlamydial infection among MSM are limited. Published studies suggest that >5% of MSM without a previous HIV diagnosis have a new diagnosis of HIV infection when evaluated as partners of patients with gonorrhea or chlamydial infection. As a result, EPT should not be used routinely in MSM. All persons who receive bacterial STD diagnoses and their sex partners, particularly MSM, should be tested for HIV infection.

For more information, click here.

For assistance with partner notification for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, please call the Kalamazoo County Communicable Disease Prevention Program at (269) 373-5233.

Field Delivered Therapy is an essential service provided in order to improve treatment completion among growing numbers of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases in Kalamazoo County.

Field Delivered Therapy (FDT) is offered to patients when they are unmotivated (lack of symptoms), unwilling or unlikely (transportation barriers) to come to the STD Clinic for testing and treatment. FDT is conducted in a non-clinical setting (i.e. school, home or residence, etc.). It is the delivery of oral medication - in a single dose - directly observed by trained health department Disease Intervention Specialists.

For assistance with partner notification for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, please call the Kalamazoo County Communicable Disease Prevention Program at (269) 373-5233.

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is a single dose therapy (medication or prescription) given to individuals infected with CT and/or GC to pass on to all partners who may have been exposed.

EPT is an effective strategy for treating cases of uncomplicated chlamydia and gonorrhea among sexual partners of patients with a confirmed diagnosis. EPT is a fast, convenient, and private way to treat partners and to stop the spread of STDs.

As of January 2015, the State of Michigan approves the use of EPT for sexual partners of individuals who test positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Please note, even if partners were never tested for gonorrhea or chlamydia, it is still recommended that patients and their partners get retested 3 months following treatment.

For more information on EPT in Michigan:

For assistance with partner notification for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, please call the Kalamazoo County Communicable Disease Prevention Program at (269) 373-5233.

A tool for partner notification in the State of Michigan is inSPOT, which will send an anonymous e-card to the exposed partner.

For assistance with partner notification for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, please call the Kalamazoo County Communicable Disease Prevention Program at (269) 373-5233.