New data show that a pilot program providing expedited partner therapy (EPT) at two Baltimore clinics appears to be working.
Under the program, health care providers at the Druid and Eastern health clinics can prescribe antibiotics to up to three sexual partners of a patient diagnosed with an STD. "It takes away the hassle factor," said Dr. Emily Erbelding, director of STD clinical services for the Baltimore City Health Department. "It makes it easier for the partner to get treated."
Three months of data from the two clinics show that among patients diagnosed with gonorrhea and chlamydia who received EPT, the re-infection rate was 2.3 percent. That is down 41 percent from the historical three-month re-infection rate of 3.9 percent.
Erbelding said the city's re-infection rate over six to 12 months typically increases to 15 percent. "We hope to find even greater improvement as we continue to do this over time," she said of EPT.
According to health officials, most women ask for medication for one partner, while most men request treatment for two partners.
Back to other news for January 2009