Reversing Course, Hawaii Lawmakers Open STD Treatment Option To Gays

RJ Brown/Civil Beat

State lawmakers have amended a bill so that it no longer excludes homosexuals from a treatment option for certain sexually transmitted diseases.

Expedited partner therapy, a practice that’s growing nationally, lets doctors treat the partners of patients who have chlamydia or gonorrhea without first examining them. Advocates say this could help reduce Hawaii’s high rates of both diseases, particularly among women.

Senate Bill 655, as initially introduced in January by Sen. Josh Green, would have opened up this treatment option to anyone. But last month the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, chaired by Sen. Roz Baker, restricted it to heterosexuals.

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