CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateCALIFORNIA: Gap in Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Teens
September 19, 2012
California's pediatricians-in-training are not sufficiently educated about the methods to prevent recurrent sexually transmitted infections in teens, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The study examined pediatric residents' knowledge of laws governing treatment of their patients' sexual partners. If the pediatrician does not treat the patient’s partner, the patient gets re-infected, states Neville Golden, MD, professor of pediatrics at Stanford and an adolescent medicine specialist at Packard Children's Hospital. Golden is the senior author of a study published Sept. 17 in the journal Pediatrics that examines whether California pediatric residents (doctors in training) are aware of expedited partner therapy (EPT) laws, which were introduced in California in 2001 and have since been adopted in 30 additional states. These laws allow physicians to prescribe antibiotics to the sexual partners of chlamydia and gonorrhea patients without seeing the partner. EPT helps doctors stop sexually transmitted diseases from bouncing back and forth within a couple. Approximately 50% of the pediatric residents had never used the practice, despite the fact that most had diagnosed STDs among their patients, the study found. There was greater knowledge of EPT in physicians enrolled in the state's three residency programs that offer fellowships in adolescent medicine.