Patient-initiated partner STI notification, i.e., patients informing their sexual partners of diagnosis, is a cornerstone of STI prevention. Growing evidence suggests that women exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) may fear such notification, or face negative consequences in response to STI disclosure. The current study assessed associations of IPV with fear of partner STI notification, and experiences of partner STI notification, among adolescent and young adult female family planning clinic patients.
Females patients ages 16–29 years in five family planning clinics in Northern California (n=1282) participated in a cross-sectional survey.
History of physical or sexual IPV was associated with fear of partner STI notification. Moreover, participants exposed to IPV were more likely to have partners say it was not from them or otherwise accuse them of cheating in response to STI notification. Such partners were less likely to seek indicated STI treatment or testing.
Current findings suggest that STI partner notification may be compromised by IPV. Clinical practices and policies to support effective partner STI notification should include IPV assessment, and provide mechanisms to address related fears concerning partner notification.