After this legislative session, picking up a prescription for your partner may become a lot easier.
House Bill 17 — known as Expedited Partner Therapy Treatment — would amend Utah law to give doctors the option to issue a prescription for an antibiotic to the sexual partner of a patient who has gonorrhea or chlamydia. Currently, the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing defines such an act as unprofessional and unlawful conduct. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City.
HB 17 allows doctors to give an antibiotic prescription for either of these STDs to a person their patient identifies as his or her partner, or who claims to be the patient’s partner. If the physician chooses this option, she or he may identify the individual as “partner of” on the drug prescription order.
Seelig is also sponsoring HB 160, a bill that seeks to create legal documents that would allow unmarried partners to inherit each other’s property and to make medical decisions for one another. HB 160 is also part of gay rights group Equality Utah’s Common Ground Initiative, a set of four bills and one policy change that would grant more legal protections to gay and transgender Utahns. HB 17, however, is not part of that initiative.