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
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.