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New Sex Therapy

By on August 7, 2013

You don’t typically hear about giving the partners of infected patients medicine sight-unseen in the medical and public health community. That is exactly what EPT or Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is all about. It’s the clinical practice of treating the sex partners of patients diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea by providing prescriptions or medications to the patient to take to his/her partner without the health care provider first examining the partner.

You should know what the state laws are as they vary. But the practice of treating sex partners of patients diagnosed with an STD may be gaining steam around the country. Here are the legal guidelines for your state.

EPT Considerations

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on EPT, there are several issues to consider. Among the issues that will influence implementation of EPT as an STD prevention strategy, is the possibility of undetected STD in partners. The potential for undiagnosed pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is of concern when EPT is used to treat the female partners of men with gonorrhea or chlamydial infection. Therefore, EPT intended for female partners should be accompanied by warnings about the symptoms of PID and advice that women seek medical attention in addition to accepting treatment.

Undiagnosed gonorrhea and chlamydial infection are common in the partners of women with trichomoniasis, and undiagnosed HIV.

Because of EPT’s effectiveness in reducing reinfection rates, CDC has recommended its use since 2006 among heterosexual partners of patients diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea when it is unlikely the partners will seek timely evaluation and treatment. But since EPT is not possible where treatment involves an injection, the new CDC gonorrhea treatment recommendations have implications for the use of EPT in the treatment of gonorrhea. 

Content for this article provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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