Expedited Partner Therapy For Gonorrhea, Chlamydia Effective In Baltimore

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Baltimore City Health Department is releasing its 2008 report on its pilot program to provide expedited partner therapy for gonorrhea and chlamydia infection.

The report finds that this innovative approach to treatment – under which patients deliver antibiotics directly to up to three sexual partners – is associated with a statistically significant 41% reduction in rates of reinfection.

The Health Department's program began in late 2007 after authorizing legislation was approved by the Maryland General Assembly and signed into law by Governor O'Malley earlier that year. It was based on model programs established in several other states that demonstrated success in reducing rates of re-infection by better ensuring that partners are treated.


Key findings of the 2008 report include:

* The Health Department's STD clinics have distributed 1758 partner packs in 1046 different patient encounters.

* No adverse events were reported.

* The rate of reinfection among patients with gonorrhea or chlamydia receiving partner packs was 2.3% three months after treatment, compared to a historical rate of reinfection of 3.9%. This represents a statistically significant 41% reduction in reinfection.

"We thank the members of the General Assembly and the Governor for authorizing this innovative approach to disease control," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Commissioner of Health. "We plan to continue this effective program in 2009."