Background: Partner services(PS) is a core public health activity designed to control the transmission of STDs including gonorrhea(GC) and syphilis(SY). An evaluation of the continuum for PS activities for GC and SY can help identify areas in need of improvement.
Methods: Using STD surveillance data, we present the PS activities continuum for all GC and SY cases reported in Los Angeles County(LAC) in 2012. Specific PS activities examined include the proportion of total reported cases that were evaluated, treated, assigned for field investigation, interviewed and reported at least 1 sexual partner for contact tracing. A second PS activities continuum was created to examine the proportion of total identified contacts that were located, notified, examined and treated.
Results: Among the 11,454 GC cases, 97% (11,153) were evaluated, 88% (10,068) were treated, 74% (8,497) were assigned for field investigation, 45% (5,209) were interviewed and 15% (1,694) identified at least one sexual contact. Of the 2,095 partners identified by the GC cases, 87% (1,819) were located, 80% (1,684) were notified of exposure to GC, 30% (635) were examined, and 26% (553) were treated. Similarly, among the 3,105 total SY cases, 99% (3,091) were evaluated, 97% (3,006) were assigned for field investigation, 93% (2,886) were treated, 77% (2,381) were interviewed and 30% (946) identified at least one sexual contact. Among the 1,559 partners identified by the SY cases, 91% (1,422) were located, 80%(1,245) were notified, 41%(632) were examined and 32%(497) were treated.
Conclusions: For both GC and SY index cases, the largest gaps in PS occurred during efforts to complete field interviews and elicit sexual contacts. Similarly, once partners were identified, the biggest challenge was the completion of follow-up. Improvements in the proportion of completed field interviews and the number of sexual contacts elicited would improve efforts to control GC and SY in LAC.