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Volume 9, Number 7Space holderFebruary 18, 2005

Study Shows Innovative Way to Control STDs

A study led by Public Health - Seattle and King County illustrates an expedited care model that gives medications for partners to patients diagnosed with gonorrhea or chlamydial infection. This approach allows the partner to get treated without first seeing a doctor. The study is published in the Feb. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study reports that a patient's risk of reinfection decreases and the number of sex partners treated increases with the use of this groundbreaking model of care. According to Matthew Golden, an assistant professor of medicine at the UW Center for AIDS & STD and lead author of the study, this expedited care model may help redesign the current system, which typically leaves patients to ensure their partner's treatment without assistance. Currently, about half of partners of patients with gonorrhea or chlamydial infection do not get treated. Golden is acting director at the STD Control Program for the county.

The study compared two groups of randomly assigned women and heterosexual men diagnosed with gonorrhea or chlamydial infections. One group received medication to give to their partners while the other group was told to have their partners seek medical care. Patients who received medications to give to their partners were more likely to report that all of their partners were treated.

The study was conducted in partnership with other researchers at UW and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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