Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)

Expedited partner therapy (EPT) is the clinical practice of treating sex partners of patients diagnosed with a treatable STD without the healthcare provider first examining the partner. Therefore, EPT allows sexual partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia to receive medications or prescriptions.

Individuals can receive screenings and treatment for STDs through their county health department and their private physician. All STDs are treatable, and a few are curable. If you are experiencing any STD symptoms or suspect that you may have an STD, you should immediately seek care from a trained healthcare provider.

As of 2017, by law ( Georgia Code: O.C.G.A. § 31-17-7.1 ), it is permissible for practitioners to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs for Expedited Partner Therapy in Georgia. EPT is permitted in 43 states and is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Download this pdf file. Click here  for a map of EPT allowable states. The Georgia Department of Public Health has issued the following Rules of Expedited Partner Therapy for all practitioners and pharmacists and Download this pdf file.  EPT Guidance for Healthcare Professionals

EPT can be delivered to a patient's partners through two different methods: in the form of a medication or the form of a prescription. Under O.C.G.A. § 31-17-7.1 and DPH rules and regulations, any pharmacist licensed within Georgia can dispense antibiotic drugs for EPT. While evaluating the partner and providing other needed health services would be ideal, it is often not feasible. The (CDC) has concluded that EPT is effective, safe, and acceptable to patients and partners.

Read more about EPT by clicking the dropdowns below, or you can download and print the newly updated pocket guide for partners, providers, and patients.

  • What are the symptoms of chlamydia complications?

    FEMALES:  If you are experiencing abdominal or pelvic pain, you could have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which could lead to infertility and issues with future pregnancies because of damage to the reproductive organs. 

    MALES:  If you are experiencing testicular pain or swelling, you may have epididymitis which, although rare, could result in persistent pain and infertility. If you have these symptoms see your healthcare provider or go to your local health department immediately.

  • Why is this important?

    It is important that you are treated for exposure to chlamydia promptly. Often chlamydia has no signs or symptoms, so most people don't know they are infected. Left untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious  complications

  • What is Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)?

    You are being offered expedited partner therapy (EPT), which allows sexual partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia to receive medications or prescriptions without having to  see a healthcare provider.

  • What is the medication you are receiving?

    You are receiving an antibiotic called azithromycin to treat the infection. Be sure to take all of the medicine as prescribed for it to be effective.


  • What are some adverse effects?

    If you experience trouble breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, hives, or severe skin reaction after taking this medication, go to the emergency room immediately and take the container in which your medication came. 

  • Is this medication safe to take?

    You should not take this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction (like a rash, hives, shortness of breath)  to azithromycin (Zithromax), erythromycin, clarithromycin (Biaxin). If you are unsure about whether you have an allergy, or you have a serious, long-term illness like kidney, liver, or heart disease, colitis, or stomach problems, talk to your doctor before taking this medication.

  • When can you have sex?

    Do not have any type of sex (with or without protection) for at least 7 days after taking azithromycin or until you have completed a medical evaluation. Avoid any sexual contact (with or without protection) with individuals who have not been treated to avoid re-infection.

Page last updated 6/5/23