• DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (737) 255-4300

    Email the HIV/STD Program

    Email data requests to HIV/STD Program - This email can be used to request data and statistics on HIV, TB, and STDs in Texas. It cannot be used to get treatment or infection history for individuals, or to request information on programs and services. Please do not include any personal, identifying health information in your email such as HIV status, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, etc.

    For treatment/testing history, please contact your local Health Department.

    For information on HIV testing and services available to Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, please contact your local HIV services organization.

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)

An amendment to the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 22, Section 190.8 [Texas Secretary of State] adopted in June, 2009, by the Texas Medical Board expressly allows Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT). The exception created by this amendment acknowledges the serious impact of sexually transmitted diseases. Today, physicians are allowed to prescribe treatment for the sexual partner(s) of their established patients with sexually transmitted diseases, without establishing a professional relationship with the partner(s) first.

In 2016, 137,739 cases of Chlamydial infection and 40,971 cases of Gonorrheal infection were reported in Texas. Most health care providers advise their patients with STDs to notify their sex partners. However, the CDC estimates the proportion of partners who seek evaluation and treatment in response to patient referral ranges from 29% to 59%. Studies have demonstrated re-infection of treated index subjects by untreated partners accounts for 14% to 30% of incident bacterial STDs.

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is the clinical practice of treating partners of heterosexual patients diagnosed with gonorrhea or Chlamydia without an intervening medical evaluation or professional prevention counseling. The usual implementation of EPT is patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT), where patients deliver medications or prescriptions to their sexual partner(s). Other potential means to achieve EPT include prescriptive arrangements with cooperating pharmacies, retrieval of medication by partners at public health clinics, or delivery of medication to partners in non-clinical settings by public health workers.

DSHS recommends that all physicians provide expedited partner therapy. In Texas, as of February 2016, oral cefixime is still acceptable for the treatment of gonorrhea. EPT can reduce the risk of re-infection among persons treated for STDs, prevent disease complications, and reduce transmission to un-infected persons. The benefits outweigh the few drawbacks of EPT.

An EPT fact sheet (PDF : 407 kB) and patient/partner education materials are available below.

EPT Documents

Patient-Delivered Partner Therapy

The usual implementation of expedited partner therapy is patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT), where patients deliver medications or prescriptions to their sexual partner(s). Several studies have shown that PDPT is an effective option for treating the sex partners of heterosexual patients, can prevent re-infection of an index patient, and can slow/stop the transmission of disease to other uninfected partners. In Texas, PDPT with oral cefixime is still permitted. PDPT is not an option for MSM.

PDPT Documents

Last updated June 9, 2020