Sexually Transmitted Diseases Vol. 39; No. 5: P. 341-345
The website inSPOTLA.org, a Los Angeles STD partner
notification service chiefly targeting men who have sex with
men (MSM), is the subject of the current study. Launched in
2005, the site has had more than 400,000 visitors, and more
than 50,000 e-mail postcards have been sent from it. But only
limited quantitative data have been collected concerning the
use of the site "for actual partner notification," observed
the authors, who undertook this study to investigate MSM's
awareness and use of the service, as well as the effect of an
The researchers accessed data from two cross-sectional surveys
using time-location samples; the baseline survey was conducted
in 2007, with follow-up in 2009. The ad campaign took place
between the two surveys, in 2008.
No statistically different awareness of inSPOTLA was noted
between baseline (15.8 percent) and follow-up (14.4 percent).
Also, no significant difference was seen in reported use of
the site for partner notification (less than 2 percent in both
In addition to the two surveys, a high-volume sexual health
clinic serving Los Angeles MSM collected information on
patients' reasons for visiting, including being referred
through inSPOTLA, from all clients from 2007 through 2009. In
these three years, two patients indicated their visit was
prompted by an inSPOTLA e-mail postcard.
"While website user statistics seemed to indicate an
impressive level of use, our evaluation of inSPOTLA found very
limited evidence of program effectiveness for the purpose of
actual partner notification among MSM in Los Angeles County,"
the team concluded.