Diagnosis and Treatment

What are my options for treating partners of patients who test positive for chlamydia?

It’s important to encourage all patients who test positive for chlamydia to notify their sex partners and urge them to seek medical evaluation and treatment. The two most effective options for partner treatment are:

In-Person Visit

Whenever possible, have the partner come in for counseling, evaluation, and treatment. An effective approach is to have the patient and their current partner come in for treatment together.

Expedited Partner Therapy

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT), which is legal in most states, is a way to treat partners when an in-person visit is unlikely. In this approach, the patient is given written information and medication (preferred) or a prescription to give to her partner(s). It should be routinely offered to the partners of heterosexual patients and women who have sex with women when you can’t be sure that all of the patient’s recent partners will be treated.

EPT is not routinely recommended for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) who are infected with chlamydia because of a high risk for coexisting infections (especially undiagnosed HIV) among their partners, and because data are limited regarding the effectiveness of this approach in reducing persistent or recurrent chlamydia among MSM. For more information on EPT in your state, contact your local health department.