Department of Health Announces New Treatment Option for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Armen Hareyan's picture
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New Mexicans with sexually transmitted diseases can now receive medication or a prescription from their doctor that they can take to their sexual partners. The practice, known as expedited partner treatment, allows physicians to treat the partners of their patients even if the partner is unable or unwilling to come in for treatment.

The New Mexico Clinical Prevention Initiative, a collaboration between the Department of Health and the state Medical Society, supported the idea of adopting the treatment. In January of this year, the New Mexico Medical Board adopted a rule change to allow physicians to provide expedited treatment. "This allows New Mexico clinicians to improve the care of their patients with sexually transmitted diseases by ensuring that their partners will also receive treatment. Studies have shown this to be a safe and effective practice," said Dr. Bruce Trigg, New Mexico Department of Health Medical Director of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Program for northwest New Mexico.

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Expedited partner treatment is an evidence-based public health approach that has been shown to lower re-infection rates of people infected with chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis; the most common curable sexually transmitted disease in young, sexually active men and women.

Studies show that women who are treated for chlamydial infection are at high risk for re-infection if their partner is not treated. This is of special concern because women with repeat infections are at increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition that can cause infertility, a future tubal pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain.

"The Board endorsed the expedited partner treatment rule change because this approach has proven to be a safe, cost saving, and clinically effective approach in physicians' management of sexually transmitted diseases in their patients and their patients

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