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Daniel Daltry's picture

Are partner notification services for MSM an effective use of STD resources?

Submitted by Daniel Daltry on Wed, 09/23/2015 - 10:01

Would love to get a discussion going here about what you think regarding this question. The literature is mixed and the scientists certainly have theories, would love to hear from folks that are doing targeted MSM work. What have you done that has been effective and how did you achieve that? What has been ineffective and what were the barriers?  




Partner Notification for MSM

Charlie Rabins's picture

Hi Daniel, thanks for posting this question. My experience while the Director of the Illinois STD Program was that targeted partner services and partner services provided by embedded staff at health care providers serving predominantly MSM clients at the time of the diagnosis and treatment was more effective than health department  DIS contacting MSM clients several weeks after the client's DX/TX. I don't have access to any data at this time to demonstrate this but I recall outcome data for new cases identified and preventive treatment's per case were higher for embedded DIS than health department DIS. The Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago and at least one MSM health center in Los Angeles created some excellent model programs. Hopefully someone from the Illinois, Chicago or LA programs can provide some information and data to describe their past or present MSM DIS services and outcomes as well as someone from another project area who has experience in this subject. It would be great to hear from others on this topic of interest that challenges many local health departments and community based organizations. 


Heck yes they are!! ***

Jennifer VandeVelde's picture

***If they are done correctly.  As with all populations, the MSM community has it's own nuances, and DIS performing partner services have to be comfortable with, well-versed in, and accepted by the populations they work with.  This doesn't mean straying from convential partner services practices...but it does sometimes involve tweaking them to fit the groups you work with.  A tenant of good PS is respect for the client and polite persistence...and it works.  Our DIS did so well with our MSM that when our CDC HIV Prevention Project Officer came to visit, they wanted to pick the brains of the DIS working with our MSM populations to find out their secret.  (Spoiler...there is no secret...just good BIS, and good policies, procedures, and supervision.)  All populations that STD programs have worked with over the years have had their own unique challenges.  An effective Partner Services Program changes with the times, and with populations to ensure continued success.  Go DIS!!!


Great conversation

Cynthia J. Newcomer's picture

Thank you Daniel for your post and Charlie and Jennifer for your comments. We would love to hear from others to expand the conversation.


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