I was surprised to read that a clinician is obligated to notify the partner of a patient diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) (Item 101-14). In Florida, it is only mandatory to report certain conditions (gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, TB, and HIV) to the health department. I encourage patients to inform their partners but have never directly contacted one. I also offer to test the partner and perform any further testing of either person for other STDs. Finally, I provide written material and instruct patients to access the CDC’s Web site for information on genital herpes.
—Anne Conklin, MSN, ARNP-C, St. Petersburg, Fla.
As noted in Item 101-14, the California law is different from that of most states. It is not universally accepted by California clinicians, and compliance is a problem. Since each state has its own rules in this sensitive and politically charged area, you must check with your professional associations for local regulations.
—David S. Starr, MD, JD (108-23)