Expedited Partner Therapy
In Illinois, health care professionals have the option of prescribing antibiotic therapy to the partner or partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea, without performing an exam on the infected patient's partner. This practice is termed Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT).
The law on EPT allows for civil and professional liability protections for health care professionals who choose to practice EPT, and also for those who choose not to practice EPT.
Illinois law requires health care professionals who practice EPT to counsel patients and provide written materials from the Illinois Department of Public Health to patients, to be given by the patient to their partner or partners.
When counseling patients, health care professionals should:
- Warn that women who are pregnant or might be pregnant must not take certain antibiotics and recommend that pregnant women should immediately contact a health care professional for an examination.
- Provide information about the antibiotic and dosage prescribed. Provide clear and explicit allergy and side effect warnings, including a warning that a partner who has a history of allergy to the antibiotic or the pharmaceutical class of antibiotics must not take the antibiotic and recommend that he/she must be immediately examined by a health care professional.
- Provide information about the treatment and prevention of sexually transmissible diseases (STDs).
- Discuss the requirement of abstinence until a period of time after treatment to prevent infecting others.
- Notify of the importance of the partner(s) of the patient to receive examination and testing for HIV and other STDs.
- Notify of the risk to self, others and the public if the STD is not completely and successfully treated.
- Relay that it is the responsibility of the partner(s) to inform his/her partners of the risk of STDs and the importance of prompt examination and treatment