The Australasian Contact Tracing Guidelines produced by ASHM aims to provide practical support and guidance and to enhance the effectiveness of partner notification. Formerly available as a printed book, the updated resource is now a searchable mobile-friendly website: www.contacttracing.ashm.org.au
For many years contact tracing–or partner notification–has been a cornerstone in the management of patients diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STI) and is considered an essential component in the control of these infections.
When patients are diagnosed with a treatable sexually transmitted infection, it is vital that testing and treatment of their sexual partners is properly considered, discussed and supported. Research shows that a substantial proportion of the partners of such patients will be infected but unaware of this, warranting efforts to ensure partner notification is facilitated and completed successfully.
guidelines provide practical guidance including: steps in contact tracing, how to time the discussion, ways of notifying contacts, how far back to trace; and references to Australian Privacy, Confidentiality and Public Health Law.