Partner treatment is a longstanding and critical part of public health efforts to control the spread of curable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, relatively few GUM clinics routinely assure that the partners of persons with Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea are treated. The failure to provide STD Treatment to treat infected sex partners is known to be one factor underlying the persistence of high rates of STDs in the UK. Standard partner referral in which STD/STI patients are counselled to refer their partners for examination and treatment is the norm.
Expedited partner treatment (EPT) versus unassisted standard partner referral (SR) has been analyzed. All of the trials found EPT significantly increased partner treatment over SR, whereas some found that EPT significantly lowered re-infection rates of patients.
EPT has a lower cost from a society or health system perspective than SR and treats more partners. GUM clinics may find EPT to be more costly than SR, depending on how many of their patients’ partners receive care from the said GUM clinic.