WP 90 Partner Notification for Syphilis in Chile: Policy Status

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Galleria Exhibit Hall
Nicole Iturrieta, BMid(Hons), MPH, PhD candidate, Department of General Practice; Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences / Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, Meredith Temple-Smith, PhD, General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia and Jane Tomnay, PhD, Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH) Department of Rural Health I Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Shepparton, Australia

Background:  Syphilis is a curable infection due to highly effective treatment; however, its prevalence is the highest among the STIs in the general population in Chile. Partner Notification (PN) has been identified as an essential strategy for STI control. We aim to analyse the standpoint of Chilean policy regulations about PN using syphilis as a case study.

Methods:  We performed a qualitative document analysis to gain insights into current Chilean policies related to syphilis management and control. The latest national standards/policies with the words STIs or syphilis in the title available on the Ministry of Health website in March 2016 were analysed for information related to PN. 

Results:  Of seven different documents relating to syphilis management and control, only three acknowledged PN as an activity that should be performed to reduce the risk of transmission and reinfection. Neither of these discussed, in details, the steps involved to carry out the process. Although this strategy is considered as a key element for prevention of congenital syphilis, no data related to PN have been published since the implementation of the current regulations. 

Conclusions:  According to publically available information, PN in Chile needs more attention. Although it has been considered for syphilis control, more guidelines are required to strengthen current strategies to ensure an impact at the population level. Thus, it is necessary to formulate research protocols to contextualise this strategy in Chile, exploring the actual PN practices and the perspectives of patients and health care providers.