Doctors would be able to pass out antibiotic prescriptions to patients with a sexually transmitted disease to give to partners under a bill introduced Wednesday.

The measure (LB992) allows partners to be treated even if the partner refuses or for some reason can't see a doctor, said Sen. Amanda McGill, the bill's sponsor.

"It would give doctors another way to reach people who are afraid to seek treatment themselves or do not know they have been infected," the Lincoln senator said.

Douglas County has a huge STD problem, McGill said. In 2007, the Douglas County Health Department reported the chlamydia rate in the county was almost 70 percent higher than the average U.S. rate, she said.

The Legislature has known about this for four years and done nothing, McGill said.

She said she got the idea for the bill while attending a conference for women leaders in government. The practice is permissible in 15 states and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Medical Association, she said.

It has been used in particular to treat gonorrhea and chlamydia, she said.

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