Partner notification involves finding, informing and treating the sexual partner of an individual with a STI. This is referred to as ‘contact tracing’. The objective is to reduce the transmission of infection through early detection and treatment and to promote behaviour change.

The need to investigate the models currently available for health services and clinicians on partner notification in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is recognised. Although seen as an important task of STI testing, little information is available on the models that have worked in these communities. Ways to support partner notification when the individual with an STI or their partner is in prison or juvenile detention also need to be explored.

Different models have been explored using patient-initiated treatment, including the use of pharmacies, email or SMS. The process of partner notification should be confidential and undertaken with appropriate and culturally sensitive support for both the index case and partners. Cultural sensitivity is particularly important when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.