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A new Utah law allows doctors to write antibiotic prescriptions for two common STDs, chlamydia and gonorrhea, for their partner of a patient - even if the doctor themselves does not know that partner's name.
Each local health department is putting its own rules into place about exactly how it will work, according to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, but participation isn't mandatory so a doctor doesn't have to give you an extra prescription if they don't want to.
The purpose of the law, called expedited partner therapy, is to slow the spread of the STDs, which can often reinfect the patient if their partner isn't treated. Chlamydia is Utah's top communicable disease, according to the Utah Department of Health. In Utah, 1,300 chlamydia patients were reinfected one or more times within a year of their previous infection between 2003 and 2007.
Many of the local health departments have said they only intend to give out the prescriptions to patients who are 18 or older, and some have even more stringent requirements.
Both Chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily detected with a simple blood test, and both are also very common throughout the U.S.
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