Imagine you get diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Would you tell your (ex)partners, so they too can get tested? Or if one of your ex-partners had an STI, would you want to know? Difficult questions… Partneralert.be can help you with the answers. Partneralert.be is a new initiative from the Institute of Tropical Medicine. Via the website you can anonymously inform ex-partners of a recent STI diagnose. You advise them to have an STI check as well.
We asked Tom Platteau, one of the creators of the project, for more details.
Where does the idea for Partneralert.be come from?
“We got the idea for this service from a similar project in Holland, where online partner notification has been an established practice for many years. There were earlier attempts where people could send online postcards with messages like ‘I have STI, maybe you as well’. But this type of service was often abused by jokers or people with bad intentions. With Partnerwaarschuwing.nl they succeeded in avoiding abuse and in linking the receiver to medical care.”
Hoe does Partneralert.be work?
Tom Platteau: “The baseline of Partneralert is ‘It stops with me’. Often an infection with an STI passes without symptoms. When you get diagnosed at an STI screening, you may already have infected your partners. Who in their turn may infect others. By informing your partners you help fighting the epidemic of STIs in the gay scene. You can of course contact your ex-partners yourself, but many men find this uncomfortable. With Partneralert.be informing partners becomes easier.”
Is Partneralert anonymous?
Tom Platteau: “Totally. Your doctor will give you a unique code, when you want to inform your partners with Partneralert. You need this code to send messages to your ex-partners, by SMS or e-mail. After the messages are sent, all information from you and your partners is deleted from the system, to guarantee full anonymity.”
Suppose I receive a message?
Tom Platteau: “In that case you receive a message on your phone or mailbox advising you to get an STI check as one of your ex-partners was diagnosed with an STI. The message contains a code that allows you to log in on Partneralert.be. There you can find information on the specific STI your ex-partner was diagnosed with. You can download a referral letter for your own STI check. Of course you will not find information there of the person who initiated the message.”
Partneralert.be was launched on 27 November 2017. In first instance only doctors from Belgian aids reference centers, where you can get tested for HIV and STIs, can use Partneralert.be. The site is available in Dutch and French, but English will soon be added.
More info: Partneralert.be – Mannenseks.be