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Contact Tracing and Partner Notification Services for STI Prevention in the Digital Era: A Literature Review

Wright, Harriet (2024) Contact Tracing and Partner Notification Services for STI Prevention in the Digital Era: A Literature Review. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) pose a significant public health concern. Easily communicable and associated with decades of stigma, STIs require robust and interdisciplinary approaches for their management and reduction. Over the last decade, STI rates have risen drastically, indicating a clear need for adaptions to public health responses. Contact tracing and partner notification services are used to aid in the prevention of STI’s by identifying a person who has potentially been exposed to coordinate testing and care. This literature review examines studies done over the last 15 years that specifically discuss how the use of technology can be a strong tool in STI contact tracing, partner notification services, and coordinating testing. This essay aims to explore ways that technology has aided in the advancement of epidemiological prevention of STI’s, unpack the limitations that exist in practice, and make recommendations for future directions.
Methods: Literature was collected through the online database Ovid Medline using keywords “contact tracing,” “partner notification” and “partner notification services,” “digital contact tracing,” “epidemiology,” and “sexually transmitted diseases” to narrow the search. Literature was then put through a screening process and assessed for eligibility against a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 23 (n=23) articles were included in this literature review.
Results: The literature demonstrates that new forms of technology, including instant messaging and social apps, have the capacity to aid clinicians and public health practitioners in more efficient contact tracing services while being a method of communication that is supported by communities included in studies. Modern technology as a tool for contact tracing is convenient for the client and eases provider burden in conducting contact tracing and sharing results. Limits and gaps in practice remain, namely concerns over privacy and data protection and staff reassignment and funding issues.
Keywords: contact tracing, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, epidemiology, technology, partner notification services.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wright, Harriethgw8@pitt.eduhgw8
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKrier, SarahSEK29@pitt.eduSEK29UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberChu, Kar-HaiCHUK@pitt.eduCHUKUNSPECIFIED
Date: 14 May 2024
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 59
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 19:47
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 19:47


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