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STI treatment guidelines for patients and partners

STI treatment guidelines for patients and partners

The CDC revised recommended STI treatment guidelines in 2021. For complete treatment guidelines, please view Summary of CDC STI Treatment Guidelines, 2021. You may also consult with one of our providers of the day at 206-744-3590.

Immediately treat people who present with symptoms or known exposure
Don't wait for test results before treating – Providers should treat all suspected cases of early syphilis and potentially exposed sex partners as if they are infected and not wait for laboratory confirmation of infection before providing patients or partners with medical treatment.

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)
Medical providers should offer all heterosexual individuals with gonorrhea or chlamydia EPT if they cannot otherwise assure their patients' partner's treatment. Learn more about EPT here.

Partner Notification
Medical providers should advise the following to patients who have been diagnosed with a sextually transmitted infection:

  • Notify their sex partners to inform them of exposure and the need for treatment, especially their most recent partner
  • For persons diagnosed with HIV, early syphilis, or gonorrhea that they may be contacted by Public Health Seattle – King County or a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS)
  • Bring their sex partner with them to your clinic or office - If you plan to have a patient return to their office or clinic for treatment, when possible, ask patients to bring a sex partner with them so that both the patient and their partner can be treated at the same time. While this approach to partner treatment can be effective, providers should not delay patient treatment to see a patient and their sex partner concurrently. 

Who Public Health Provides partner services to
Because resources are limited, Public Health only provides partner services to selected populations of persons with STI. These services vary in their content but focus on trying to ensure that patients and potentially exposed sex partners receive the information and medical treatment they need. Public Health currently provides partner services only to the following populations:

  • Persons with newly diagnosed HIV infection
  • Persons living with HIV who are not virally suppressed and are diagnosed with a new early syphilis or gonococcal infection
  • People who can become pregnant and new syphilis infection
  • Men who have sex with women (MSW) with new syphilis infection
  • People who can become pregnant and have untreated gonococcal infection

Public Health currently does NOT routinely provide partner services to individuals with chlamydial infection, or MSM with new STI who are on PrEP or have HIV and are taking antiretrovirals (ARVs).