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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The Illinois legislature passed a bill allowing for doctors to give antibiotics to the partner of someone with a sexually transmitted disease, even if they didn't seek medical treatment. It awaits the signature of Governer Pat Quinn.
"It's not going to be a magic bullet, that suddenly every STD in Illinois is going to be cured," said John Peller director of government relations for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago to the Southtown Star. "But we know the traditional way of saying, 'Get your partner in here,' doesn't work."
The bill allows for expedited partner therapy, which the CDC predicts can cut the rate of reinfection by 20 percent to 46 percent.
There are currently 15 states that allow some form of the approach, although the details vary. Utah recently passed a similar law, and in that state it is not mandatory for doctors to prescribe an extra dose for the partner. Illinois also will allow doctors discretion in the matter.
The treatment is aimed at gonorrhea and Chlamydia, both of which are prone to be passed back and forth between partners. Cook County, Illinois earned the dubious distinction of having the highest number of gonorrhea cases and second highest chlamydia cases in the country in 2007.
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