‘It’s literally giving them a solution in their hands’: the views of young Australians towards patient-delivered partner therapy for treating chlamydia.

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Patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) is a method for providing antibiotic treatment for the sexual partners of an index patient with an STI by means of a prescription or medication that the index patient gives to their sexual partner(s). Qualitative research regarding barriers and enablers to PDPT has largely focused on the views of healthcare providers. In this study, we sought to investigate the views of young people (as potential health consumers) regarding PDPT for chlamydia.Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with young Australian men and women. Participants were asked to provide their views regarding PDPT from the perspective of both an index patient and partner. Purposive and snowball sampling was used. Data were analysed thematically.We interviewed 22 people (13 women, 9 men) aged 18-30 years, 15 of whom had previously been tested for chlamydia. Despite none having previous knowledge of or experience using PDPT, all viewed it positively and thought it should be widely available. Participants reported that they would be willing to give PDPT to their sexual partners in situations where trust and comfort had been established, regardless of the relationship type. Protecting their partners’ privacy was essential, with participants expressing reluctance to provide their partners’ contact details to a doctor without consent. Beyond logistical benefits, PDPT was viewed as a facilitator to partner notification conversations by offering partners a potential solution. However, most interviewees indicated a preference to consult with a healthcare provider (GP or pharmacist) before taking PDPT medication. Participants indicated that legitimacy of information when navigating a chlamydia diagnosis was crucial and was preferably offered by healthcare providers.Though PDPT is unlikely to fully replace partners’ interactions with healthcare providers, it may facilitate partner notification conversations and provide partners greater choice on how, when and where they are treated.

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