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U.S. News

West Virginia: Treating Sexual Partners Absent Examination

November 30, 2012

Dr. Allan Chamberlain, representing the West Virginia State Medical Association, addressed West Virginia lawmakers on the merits of expedited partner therapy (EPT) that treats partners of patients with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) without examining the partners. Chamberlain argued that EPT can stop transmission of the infection and save society medical costs. The doctor was speaking before the Joint Committee on Health's revival of SB647. Chamberlain explained that the incidence of chlamydia rose 55 percent in Kanawha County -- but fewer than half of the patients were treated -- and that one in six chlamydia patients was re-infected by an untreated partner. He acknowledged that writing the prescription for a patient that had not been examined is a breach of the normal standard of care, but this is an exception and one that is in the public interest.

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