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ACOG Urges Expedited Partner Therapy for Some STIs

Supports its use when patient's partners are unwilling or unable to seek medical care

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, whose partners are unable or unwilling to seek care, expedited partner therapy can be used to prevent reinfection, according to a Committee Opinion published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Researchers from the Committee on Gynecologic Practice and the Committee on Adolescent Health Care discuss use of expedited partner therapy to help prevent the high rates of STIs seen among young women, specifically from reinfection from an untreated sexual partner.

According to the report, expedited partner therapy allows obstetrician-gynecologists or other providers to prescribe medications to patients to take to their partners, without the need for examination of these partners. However, numerous legal, practical, and administrative barriers hinder routine use of expedited partner therapy. When a patient's partners are unwilling or unable to seek medical care, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports use of expedited partner therapy for preventing gonorrhea and chlamydia reinfection. Patient counseling and written instructions for the partner should be provided in addition to expedited partner therapy. Recipients of expedited partner therapy should be urged to seek additional medical evaluation as soon as possible to discuss STI screening.

"The College encourages members to advocate for the legalization of expedited partner therapy and to work with their health departments to develop protocols for its use," the authors write.

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