Law expands access to STD drugs

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Gov. Jim Doyle has signed a new law allowing physicians and advance practice clinics to prescribe an extra dose of antibiotics for people with STDs to give to their sexual partners. The legislation applies to the three most common STDs – chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichononiasis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends expedited partner therapy as an effective way to reduce the incidence of STDs.  Twenty-one states currently use the strategy.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which advocated for the bill, reports that the 2009-2010 legislative session was the most successful in the state’s history for reproductive health advocates – and the first in a generation to pass pro-women’s health legislation into law.

Lawmakers approved: the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims act, which requires Wisconsin emergency rooms to provide rape victims with accurate information about and timely access to emergency birth control to prevent pregnancy from their assault; Contraceptive Equity, which requires insurance companies in Wisconsin that provide prescription drug benefits plans to cover birth control; Prescription Protection, which mandates that all pharmacies have someone available to dispense birth control prescriptions; and the Healthy Youth Act, which requires schools that offer sex education to ensure their programs are medically accurate, age appropriate and follow core principles proven to reduce teen births and STD rates.

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