Contact Tracing: Barriers and Facilitators

This article was originally published here

Am J Public Health. June 2, 2022: e1-e9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2022.306842. Online ahead of print.


Contact tracing – the process of identifying, isolating and managing infected people and their contacts – is a recognized public health measure to control the transmission of infectious diseases. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact tracing has received intense attention. We provide a brief overview of the history of contact tracing during several major epidemics over the past century: syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections, HIV infection, tuberculosis, Ebola virus disease, and COVID-19. Our discussion of barriers and facilitators to contact tracing offers perspective on societal and institutional roles and dynamics, stigma as a major barrier to effective tracing efforts, and how the nature and epidemiology of infection itself can affect its success. We explore the evolution and adaptation of contact tracing and provide insights for future programming and research. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 2, 2022: e1-e9.

PMID:35653650 | DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2022.306842