Treatment of an infected person’s sexual partners is vital to preventing sexually transmitted disease re-infection. Expedited partner therapy (EPT) allows a health care provider to offer treatment to a sexual partner without them being seen during an office visit or being subjected to a clinical exam. This significantly speeds up the treatment process and reduces the possibility of spreading the infection to others. EPT is recommended by the Centers of Disease for Control and Prevention and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
When a customer-owner tests positive for a sexually transmitted infection, the registered nurse case manager (RNCM) will follow up with a phone call to schedule a visit with them. During this visit, the customer-owner will be treated and the RNCM will provide STI education and discuss the importance of both partner treatment and the EPT process. In some cases, HIV and rapid plasma reagin labs (to screen for syphilis) are conducted.
“When talking with the customer-owner, I express the importance of protecting their health, and encourage precaution and protection during intimate relationships,” said RNCM Dorothy Griffith, “It is extremely important for customer-owners to get screened and ensure that they are free of any STIs. These occurrences can happen at such a young age; it’s imperative for the STI to be addressed immediately to prevent ongoing infection.”