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Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;35(Suppl 2):S138-45.

The transformation of partner notification.

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Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.


Since 1996, several traditional epidemiological studies of program efficacy have done little to alter the fixed opinions of promoters or detractors of partner notification. Modeling studies have appeared that confirm the value of the contact-tracing approach in locating and treating persons who may be important in transmission. These provide a theoretical base for a number of empirical studies that have applied social network methods to classical partner-notification approaches, which have demonstrated the dense networks and geographic clustering of persons involved in sexually transmitted disease transmission and have provided justification for focusing efforts on small groups that may be critical to epidemicity or its maintenance. These initial studies would appear to warrant a broad-based inclusion of network concepts into programmatic activities, with careful monitoring and analysis of the impact they have on both the traditional indices of partner notification as well as the larger effect on disease transmission.

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