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U.S. News

Missouri: Bill Includes Partners in STD Care

May 27, 2010

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon reportedly is expected to sign into law a proposal allowing expedited partner therapy (EPT) for certain STDs.

After failed attempts in the past two years, Missouri lawmakers this year approved legislation allowing a physician to prescribe antibiotics for STDs to a patient's partners without a physical exam for the partners.

The bill applies to persons at risk for gonorrhea or chlamydia. Both diseases are serious problems in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

"This is an important public health measure that the Legislature can take to make sure people in the community get appropriate treatment," said co-sponsor Rachel Storch (D-St. Louis).

Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-O'Fallon) opposes EPT. In a newsletter sent to constituents, she likened the proposal to "putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound" and said it "does nothing to actually solve the problem" of sexual promiscuity.

According to CDC, 24 states and Baltimore allow some form of EPT. A 2006 CDC report called the strategy a "useful option" in the control of STDs.

At the same time, EPT does not allow the physician to identify or treat other health issues that may be present or provide counseling on disease prevention, CDC acknowledges. In addition, EPT carries the risk of an allergic reaction to the treatment.

Still, public health advocates are enthusiastic about the legislation. "We believe that this will give us just another terribly important tool to help try to curb the epidemic rates of sexually transmitted infections," said Paula Gianino, CEO of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.

Back to other news for May 2010

Adapted from:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
05.26.2010; Blythe Bernhard

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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.
See Also
More HIV Treatment Policy News on the U.S. South

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