Stopping STDS In Their Tracks

Published October 27, 2008

Updated Oct. 25, 2008 – If you get diagnosed of chlamydia or gonorrhea, it might be a good idea to ask your doctor for extra antibiotics to deliver to your sexual partner. U.S. researchers suggest. This may help stop these infections from spreading  or coming back again. 

The study of 977 men from aSexually Transmitted Disease (STD) clinic in New Orleans found that providing the men (who had been diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea) with antibiotics to give to their sex partners was more effective than traditional methods of trying to contact and treat those partners.

When given the medicine to take to their female sex partners, the men were more likely to see and talk to their partners about the STD than when the men were simply told to inform their partners about their STD exposure, according to the report in the Sept. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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About 70 percent of the men who were given the antibiotics to treat their sex partners gave the intervention to their partners, compared with 48 percent of men who were told to tell their partners to get treated for the STD, and 58 percent of the men who were told to tell their partners and to also give them a referral card.

The study also found that the men in the patient-delivered partner treatment group and the card referral group were far less likely than the men in the standard partner referral group to re-test positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Despite the effectiveness of this method, this approach is not yet widely used, mainly because of unfounded fears among doctors, noted study author Patricia Kissinger of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

"Clinicians have fears of legal liability, particularly if the partners have side effects. In three randomized trials [on patient-delivered partner treatment] that have been conducted, there have been no reports of adverse events," Kissinger said in a prepared statement.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are just two of most common STDS running wild among teens today, especially African American teens. At least one in four American teen girls has a Sexually Transmitted Disease, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Centersfor Disease Control and Protection. Nearly half of Black teen girls tested had at least one STD compared to 20 percent among both White and Mexican-American teen girls. (Click here for more on the study.)

For more on STDs: how to avoid them  and what to do if you think you have one, go here.

Parts of this article appear courtesy of BlackDoctor.org. For more on Black health and what to do about STDS, visit  BlackDoctor.org.

Written by BET-Staff

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