An American group of obstetrician-gynecologists (OB-GYNs) aims to reach out to men who had sexual intercourse with women afflicted with Chlamydia or gonorrhea since there is a good probability that they could be infected, too.
By allowing an infected woman to receive medication and to give it to her sexual partner thereafter would help reduce the risk of catching the condition again after she’s received treatment, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) announced. This concept is called the “expedited partner therapy.”
It is reported that many doctors are treating their patients using the expedited partner therapy. However, this practice is outlawed in at least eight U.S. states and 15 others categorized it as “potentially allowable.” Nevertheless, ACOG encouraged doctors in states where it is prohibited to advocate the practice.
But there are concerns about giving medications to people whom doctors haven’t even met or examined. ACOG raises the possibilities like incurring side effects, allergic reactions or infections as a result. Still, the OB-GYN group believes the benefits outweigh the risk.
Dr. Myron Cohen of the University of North Carolina concurs with ACOG’s assessment.
“To treat the infected person and not the partner creates an impossible situation,” Dr. Cohen says. “From a social justice point of view, doing nothing with the partner makes no sense.”
In addition, Dr. Cohen recognized the possibility of wrongfully handing out medications or antibiotics to potentially infected but in fact healthy individuals. But these concerns are minimal compared to benefits that this practice could provide.
“Over-treating has to be weighed against no partner management,” Dr. Cohen states. “I think clearly over-treatment is better.”