WP 100 Expedited Partner Therapy Receipt Reported By Individuals with Gonorrhea- Louisiana, 2009-2013

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
International Ballroom
Megan Jespersen, MPH, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program, LA Office of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, Mohammad Rahman, PhD, MPH, Surveillance, Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program, New Orleans, LA, Kathleen Welch, PhD, MPH, MA, Evaluation Unit, Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program, New Orleans, LA and Rebekah Bonds, MPH, Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program, New Orleans, LA

Background:  Louisiana had the highest rate of gonorrhea in the U.S in 2011 with 202.3 cases per 100,000 population and the New Orleans area having a high concentration of the state’s morbidity with 499.7 cases per 100,000. In 2008, a Louisiana law was passed authorizing Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) and in February 2009 procedures were finalized allowing prescriptions to be provided to patients with gonorrhea and/or chlamydia to give to their sexual partners. Enhanced case-based surveillance occurred in the New Orleans area from 2009-2013 as part of the STD Surveillance Network (SSuN). We sought to look at patient-reported EPT receipt stratified by provider type.

Methods:  As a SSuN site, Louisiana conducted interviews with individuals with gonorrhea in the New Orleans area, collecting standardized data elements. From 2009-2013, 1,000 interviews were conducted. We analyzed data elements regarding EPT and partner treatment, stratified by provider type. 

Results:  Out of the 1,000 interviewed patients, only 93 (9.3%) reported that they had received a prescription from their provider to give to their partner. The majority of EPT prescriptions were provided by STD clinics (63%) followed by public/non-STD clinics (16%), private physicians (12%), school-based clinics (3%), hospitals (3%), and family planning/OBGYN clinics (2%). No EPT was reported to be given at HIV care clinics, emergency rooms/urgent cares, or military clinics. When asked about treatment of sexual partners, 37% of patients reported that they were unsure if their partner had been treated.

Conclusions:  While EPT has been a legal health-care practice in Louisiana since 2009, it remains under-utilized according to patients in the New Orleans area with gonorrhea. In response to STD AAPPS, the Louisiana STD/HIV Program is planning greater provider engagement that includes educating providers about services and policies, such as EPT, in order to prevent gonorrhea infections.