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National News

Patients Try Some Roles of Doctors

January 27, 2003

A study published in this month's issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases bolsters the view that women who give medicine to their partners are more likely to avoid a second infection of chlamydia. An earlier study of patient-delivered partner treatment spurred California lawmakers to change state law to allow doctors to give patients extra doses of antibiotic for their sex partners. Other states, like Louisiana, would have to enact similar legislative changes to carry out the program: Current Louisiana law requires doctors to examine patients before dispensing medicine.

Tulane University epidemiologist Patricia Kissinger conducted the earlier study and oversaw the New Orleans portion of the current one. The full report, "Patient-Delivered Partner Treatment with Azithromycin to Prevent Repeated Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection Among Women: A Randomized, Controlled Trial," appeared in Sexually Transmitted Diseases, (2003;30(1):49-56). The study followed nearly 1,800 women with chlamydia, which can be cured with one dose of azithromycin. Because it was a medical study, doctors were allowed to dispense medication for patients they had not examined. New Orleans provided about half the women for the study; other venues were Seattle, Indianapolis, Birmingham, and California cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach and Torrance. Kissinger and colleagues found that women who provided their partners with azithromycin were 20 percent less likely to be reinfected with chlamydia than those who did not.

In California, which logs about 600,000 chlamydia cases a year, clinics have received no reports of adverse reactions to the treatment since the law went into effect two years ago, according to Dr. Jeff Klausner, head of the STD unit in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The California law does not exempt physicians from lawsuits resulting from bad reactions to the drugs in unexamined recipients.

Back to other CDC news for January 27, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
01.21.03; John Pope



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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