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As rates of sexually transmitted diseases rise, several states are working to make STD testing more available to their residents in the hopes that it will help slow the spread of communicable infections.
Lawmakers in Missouri recently passed a law that will allow doctors to prescribe medication to the sexual partners of patients who receive a positive STD test without forcing those other individuals to come in for an examination. Those individuals will then be referred to counseling and further testing, according to St. Louis Public Radio.
"It's very hard with limited public health resources to identify all those individuals' partners and make sure they get treated," Tiffany Wilkinson, of the Kansas City Health Department, told the news source. "So this will help us eventually, hopefully be able to reduce that number and get the appropriate individuals treated."
She added that St. Louis had the highest rates of Chlamydia and gonorrhea of any city or county in the country last year.
More than 15 million cases of syphilis, Chlamydia and gonorrhea are reported nationally each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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