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Evaluation of an Online Partner Notification Program

May 5, 2011

While Internet-based STD partner-notification programs have generated considerable interest, data are lacking to support their widespread dissemination. In the current study, the authors reported on a clinic- and web-based evaluation of Colorado's inSPOT online partner notification system.


The researchers conducted surveys at a large urban STD clinic before and after the implementation of feasible clinic interventions as well as nonclinic campaigns to promote the use of inSPOT Colorado. The questions assessed site recognition and use. The inSPOT service provided statistics including number of website hits, e-cards sent, and specific STD exposures identified on the e-cards.

Despite the interventions, both recognition and use of the services remained low (less than 6 percent) among STD clinic patients. After a banner advertisement was placed on a popular gay website, site statistics showed a response that was immediate but diminished quickly. Radio public service announcements and newspaper ads yielded small increases in website use. As to specific conditions, scabies and pediculosis (lice) were most frequently referenced, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all e-cards sent.

"Clinic survey data indicated that when respondents were faced with the hypothetical situation of being diagnosed with an STI, more than 90 percent would notify partners in person; only 5 percent would use e-mail or the Internet. Our data did not support the effectiveness of the inSPOT intervention among a predominantly heterosexual population in a large urban STI clinic," the authors concluded.

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Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
05.2011; Vol. 38; No. 5: P. 359-364; Cornelis A. Rietmeijer, Benton Westergaard, Theresa A. Mickiewicz, Doug Richardson, Sarah Ling, Terri Sapp, Rebecca Jordan, Ralph Wilmoth, Rachel Kachur, Mary McFarlane

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

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