Patient Delivered Partner Therapy
PDPT facilitates effective and timely partner treatment, and might be an option for your patient.
What is Patient Delivered Partner Therapy (PDPT)?
PDPT is where the diagnosing clinician provides either an additional prescription or course of antibiotic treatment to the index case for the treatment of their partner/s, without first seeing the partner/s. PDPT has been shown to reduce reinfection in the index case compared with simple patient referral1,2,3 and can reduce time to partner treatment.4 In Australia, a single one gram dose orally of azithromycin is used for PDPT.
Who is it suitable for?
Clinicians should discuss partner management options with their patient (including PDPT) to support patients in deciding on the best option.
A flowchart to assist with the process of offering and providing PDPT is available here.
Is there guidance for PDPT?
Health authorities in Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory have provided guidance for PDPT.
- Click here for information for Victoria
- Click here for information for New South Wales*
- Click here for information about the Northern Territory
There is no health authority guidance for PDPT in other Australian jurisdictions. However a review of the PDPT policy environment5 found that PDPT is potentially allowable under relevant prescribing regulations in Western Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia (noting that PDPT is not recommended in South Australia due to concerns about azithromycin resistant gonorrhoea. You can read more about the South Australian context here).
*Note that these were developed for use in Sexual Health and Family Planning Clinics for the purpose of the ADOPT Study.
How do I do PDPT?
PDPT can be offered at the discretion of the clinician as part of the discussion with their patient about options for informing their partners. Detailed information about offering and providing PDPT are provided in our recent Australian Journal of General Practice article available here.
If the patient accepts the offer of PDPT for their partner/s the clinician will need to:
- Record in their patient’s medical record that PDPT was offered and accepted along with the partner’s details
- Prescribe Azithromycin 1g orally for the index patients partner/s.
- Provide information about PDPT for their patient and the patients partner/s
- Advise their patient to abstain from sex for seven days after taking the antibiotics.
Generating a PDPT prescription
If the partner is an existing patient of your clinic, the PDPT prescription can be generated from and documented in the partners medical record.
If the partner is NOT an existing patient of your clinic the PDPT prescription can be:
- Handwritten on a prescription pad or prescription paper
- Populated from a PDPT prescription template (available here for Victoria and here for New South Wales). Prescriptions generated in this manner are private, and patients will need to pay the full cost for the medication (approximately $8-11 for azithromycin at a discount chemist).
Additional resources to support implementation of PDPT into practice are provided on our workflow resources page.
Where do I go for more information?
The Australasian Contact Tracing Guidelines have further information about PDPT. You can also check with your local health department or specialist sexual health centre.
Detailed information about offering and providing PDPT are provided in our recent Australian Journal of General Practice article available here.
1. Unemo, M., et al., Sexually transmitted infections: challenges ahead. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2017. 17(8): p. e235-e279.
2. Althaus C, Turner K, Mercer C, et al. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of traditional and new partner notification technologies for curable sexually transmitted infections: observational study, systematic reviews and mathematical modelling. Health Technol Assess. 2014;18(2):1-100, vii-viii.
3. Trelle S, Shang A, Nartey L, Cassell J, Low N. Improved effectiveness of partner notification for patients with sexually transmitted infections: systematic review. BMJ. 2007;334(7589):354-7.
4. Woodward S, Tyson H, Martin S. An observational study of the acceptability of patient-delivered partner therapy for management of chlamydia. Sexual Health. 2020;17(4):381-3
5. Goller JL, Coombe J, Bourne C, Bateson D, Temple-Smith M, Tomnay J, et al. Patient-delivered partner therapy for chlamydia in Australia: can it become part of routine care? Sexual Health. 2020;17(4):321-9.