Expedited Partner Therapy Use Benefits Gonorrhea, Chlamydia

In states where expedited partner therapy is not legal, practitioners should advocate for legality

FRIDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Expedited partner therapy should be used in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines to prevent reinfection by treating partners of patients with gonorrhea and chlamydia who are unable or unwilling to seek medical care, according to a committee opinion published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The Committee on Adolescent Health Care and the Committee on Gynecologic Practice reported the use of expedited partner therapy in accordance with CDC guidelines as a method for preventing reinfection of patients with gonorrhea and chlamydia when their partners are unable or unwilling to seek medical care.

The investigators reported that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports expedited partner therapy for managing gonorrhea and chlamydial infections when the partner is unlikely or unable to otherwise receive in-person evaluation and appropriate treatment. The expedited partner therapy is permissible in 27 states with numerous legal, medical, practical, and administrative barriers hindering its routine use by obstetrician-gynecologists. In U.S. states where it is permissible, physicians are advised to use the therapy for eligible patients, including heterosexual partners of female patients in the previous two months. Local, state, and CDC guidelines should be used while choosing the drug for treatment. Index patients should be given written prescription details and medications for their partners, and all partners treated with therapy should be encouraged to seek clinical evaluation at the earliest time. Patients should avoid intercourse until the treatment is completed. Where expedited partner therapy is not legal or where the legal status is uncertain, the practicing physicians are advised to advocate for its legality, and to engage health departments to develop protocols.

"This approach is associated with desirable clinical and behavioral outcomes when used to treat gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, or both in heterosexual men and women," the authors write.

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