• DSHS HIV/STD Program
    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: 737-255-4300

    Email the HIV/STD Program

    Email HIV, STD, Hepatitis C, and TB data requests to the Program – Use this email to request Texas HIV, STD, Hepatitis C, and TB data and statistics. Do not use this email to request treatment or infection history for individuals, or to request information on programs or services. Do not email personal, identifying health information such as HIV status, date of birth, or Social Security Number.

    For treatment/testing history, please contact your local health department.

    For information on HIV testing and services available to persons living with HIV, please contact your local HIV services organization.

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)

An amendment to the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 22, Section 190.8 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 infections (STIs). Today, physicians can prescribe treatment for the sexual partner(s) of their established clients with sexually transmitted infections, without establishing a professional relationship with the partner(s) first.

In 2018, 145,874 cases of chlamydial infection and 46,958 cases of gonorrheal infection were reported in Texas. Most health care providers advise their clients with STIs to notify their sex partners. Yet, 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 STIs.

Expedited Partner Therapy is the harm-reduction strategy of treating partners of clients diagnosed with gonorrhea or chlamydia without an intervening medical evaluation or professional prevention counseling. EPT for partners of MSM should be based on shared clinical decision making between the client and their provider with consideration for risk of other STIs and HIV. The usual implementation of EPT is patient-delivered partner therapy, where clients 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 2021, oral cefixime is still acceptable to use for EPT for partners of clients diagnosed with gonorrhea. EPT can reduce the risk of re-infection among persons treated for STIs, prevent infections, complications, and reduce transmission to un-infected persons. The benefits outweigh the few drawbacks of EPT.

See the  EPT fact sheet (PDF) and other patient/partner education materials below to learn more.

EPT Training

EPT Documents

Last updated June 13, 2022