Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Regulations Expedite Treatment of Chlamydia for Sex Partners

Amendments to 105 CMR 700 and 721 approved yesterday allow doctors and other health practitioners to prescribe or provide antibiotics to the sex partners of patients with chlamydia without seeing the partners directly. "Known as Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT), this practice involves presumptively treating the sex partners of people diagnosed with chlamydia infection without first examining or testing the partner. EPT helps interrupt the spread of disease by getting treatment to people who might otherwise remain untreated."

Today's Boston Globe quotes Dr. Anita Barry, director of the infectious disease bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission. "As for the concern about antibiotic overuse - an issue that disease trackers say is responsible for creating antibiotic-resistant super bugs - Barry said the benefits of providing prescriptions for sexual partners of chlamydia patients far outweigh the risks. “It’s really a one-hit, high-dose, kill-what’s-there, and you’re done,’’ Barry said."