Los Angeles County Uses E-Mail To Notify People of Potential Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Diseases
CDC on Thursday released a case study on a Los Angeles County pilot program that uses e-mail to alert the sex partners of people who have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases, the AP/Washingtonpost.com reports. The pilot project is part of an effort to reduce the spread of STDs among people who meet sex partners online. According to the AP/Washingtonpost.com, it can be difficult to track STD cases among people who meet sex partners online because they often participate anonymously and are unable to provide public health officials with adequate contact information. One case indicated that a man diagnosed with syphilis in March 2003 provided e-mail addresses for 16 of his sexual partners; of those, nearly half contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to be tested. "Using e-mail has been a helpful and good alternative when you have otherwise anonymous sex partners," Dr. Pragna Patel of CDC said. The San Francisco Department of Public Health is believed to be the only other health agency in the nation to use e-mail to inform people of possible STD exposure, Patel said (Yee, AP/Washingtonpost.com, 2/19). The case study is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.