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Sex Transm Dis. 1999 Jan;26(1):49-54.

Establishing efficient partner notification periods for patients with chlamydia.

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El Paso County Department of Health and Environment, Colorado Springs, Fort Carson, USA.



To delineate chlamydia partner notification periods with high proportions of infected, untreated sexual partners, and to evaluate relevant Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.


Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) offered contact tracing services to all chlamydia patients (N = 1,309) reported in Colorado Springs between July 1996 and June 1997. Patients were asked to identify sexual partners during the 180 days preceding treatment. Partners were actively sought by DIS and offered DNA amplification testing.


Of 1,309 patients, 1,109 were interviewed, resulting in 2,293 named partners. Two fifths of eligible partners were located; inability to examine partners was related to time of last exposure and to frequency of sexual exposure. Of located partners, 95% were tested with DNA amplification technology. Adherence to CDC criteria identified 88% of infected, untreated partners; the other 12% consisted mainly of epidemiologically important asymptomatic men whose infection is seldom identified by current public health interventions.


The chlamydia partner notification recommendations of the CDC are adequate, but miss men with long-standing infection. These men contribute to entrenched chlamydia endemicity; targeted programs to screen high-risk men merit serious consideration.

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