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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

OHIO: Antibiotics for Partners Might Curb Chlamydia


Columbus Dispatch (04.16.12) - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clinics and physicians should reach out to sexual partners of people infected with chlamydia because giving them antibiotics might curb rising rates of the STD in Ohio, according to public health leaders.

Chlamydia infection rates continue to climb in central Ohio and elsewhere. For example, in Franklin County, 8,195 cases were reported in 2010, up from 7,778 cases in 2009. Nationally, more than 1.3 million chlamydia infections were reported in 2010. An estimated 2.8 million infections occur annually, according to CDC, but many cases are not diagnosed and reported.

Last year, the State Medical Board requested permission from a regulatory oversight committee to allow physicians to send antibiotics home with infected patients so that their partners could be treated. However, committee members were concerned about giving medication to people without an examination, said Mike Miller, who works for the board. He also said that if a change is going to occur in Ohio, it likely will require a new law, and currently there are no proposals in the works.

A recent analysis found that 27 other states allow the practice. CDC and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorse patient-delivered partner treatment as a way to stem the increase in infection rates.

Chlamydia can lead to infertility in women and is often undetected because patients have no symptoms. It may also cause premature births, and mothers can pass the infection to their babies during childbirth.

Even when women are diagnosed and treated for chlamydia with antibiotics, they can become re-infected if their sexual partners are not treated. Infection with chlamydia also can increase a person's risk of contracting other STDs including HIV, said Audrey Regan, the director of sexual health promotion for Columbus Public Health.


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Information in this article was accurate in April 17, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.