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Minutes for HB2198 - Committee on Health and Human Services

Short Title

Allowing the use of expedited partner therapy to treat a sexually transmitted disease.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 14, 2019

Dr. Caitlin Linschied provided testimony in support of HB2198.  It was noted that similar legislation is in place in 43 other states and is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The rate of sexually transmitted diseases is rapidly on the rise. The bill would provide legal protection for physicians to treat their patients' partners. Simplifying and encouraging expedited partner therapy is a simple and effective way of treating sexually transmitted illnesses and reducing the burden on our patients and the health care system as a whole (Attachment 2).

Dr. Linschied fielded questions from the Committee.

Dr. Selena Sandoval testified that one of the greatest factors contributing to the high rate of sexually transmitted illness is the rate of reinfection by the  current sexual partner or partners. The illness can cause pregnancy issues and health issues for the infants. Evidence from the Center for Disease Control has shown that expedited partner therapy can decrease the reinfection rate of partners (Attachment 3).

Dr. Sandoval fielded questions from the Committee.

Jennifer VandeVelde of the Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention provided testimony that if chlamydia is left untreated, it can result in infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and potentially death. The use of expedited partner therapy removes barriers to ensuring the treatment of potentially infected partners, thus reducing the risk of reinfection. 70% of all cases are diagnosed in women, usually caught during routine screenings. Men rarely are routinely screened. EPT allows infected partners to more easily obtain preventative treatment (Attachment 4).

Mrs. VandeVelde fielded questions from the Committee.

Written testimony in support of HB2198 was provided by:

Dr. Kimberly Swan (Attachment 5)