Physicians now may treat the sex partners of patients diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea without first examining the partner, thanks to an amendment adopted by the Texas Medical Board (TMB).
The amendment allowing expedited partner therapy took effect June 24.
TMB amended its rules to allow a physician to provide for a person with whom he or she does not have a " proper professional relationship … the prescription of drugs for a partner of a patient who may have a sexually transmitted disease."
The Texas Register notice of the amendment says TMB "determined that the amendment to the rule addresses a serious public health issue and is intended to allow physicians to treat persons with sexually transmitted diseases as early as possible or prevent such persons from contracting sexually transmitted diseases from their partners. The board finds that the amendment will allow for the immediate treatment of sexually transmitted diseases contracted by partners of patients and therefore remove a current peril to the public health, safety or welfare."
The Texas Department of State Health Services has developed a fact sheet [ PDF ] on expedited partner therapy.
Action , Sept. 1, 2009