Accessing Partner Services

Your health care provider can connect you with the State or Local Health Department Partner Services program, where a Partner Services Specialist will talk with you about your partners. You may even get a call or visit from a Partner Services Specialist before you talk with your health care provider about Partner Services. This is because the laboratories (labs) that test for STDs and HIV are required to report any positive results to the health departments, just like they report results to health care providers.

People who have tested positive for an STD or HIV, and want help notifying their partners can also contact Partner Services directly. The phone numbers for local Partner Services programs are available on the following link.

Your provider may arrange for a Partner Services Specialist to be at the provider’s office at the time of your medical visit. If this is not possible, the Specialist may contact you by text or phone call to make an appointment to talk with you at another time. This can happen at your home, or a public place convenient to you. Specialists will work around your schedule.

The Specialist will talk with you about your sex and needle-sharing partners. All of the information that you give them is kept confidential and private. Your partners will not be told anything about you.

Partner Services in New York City

In New York City (Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island), the Partner Services program for people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS is known as the Contact Notification Assistance Program or CNAP. This program works directly with health care providers and patients to notify sexual and needle-sharing partners exposed to HIV. NYC residents can contact CNAP directly by calling (212) 693-1419 or 311.

Partner Services for HIV Prevention

HIV is caused by a virus called the human immunodeficiency virus. There is no cure for HIV, although HIV treatments can allow people with HIV to live longer and healthier lives. Many people with HIV do not have symptoms for several years. They may not know they are infected. An HIV test is the only way to find out if you have HIV. Partner Services can help people newly diagnosed with HIV, as well as people who are living with HIV or AIDS. Partners who get tested early can take the steps necessary to stop the spread of infection and get the health care that they may need.

More information on HIV can be found on the NYSDOH's AIDS Institute web site.

People who are living with HIV, and do not appear to be receiving medical care may also be contacted by Partner Services Specialists.  With appropriate medical care, people living with HIV can live long, healthy lives, and Partner Services can work with people to connect them to health care providers in their area.  More information about the Expanded Partner Services program can be found on the NYSDOH’s AIDS Institute EXPS page.

Partners who test negative receive HIV prevention information including information about Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP.  PrEP is a daily pill that people take so they can reduce their worry about getting HIV. More information about PrEP can be found on the NYSDOH’s AIDS Institute PrEP page.

Partner Services for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea prevention

Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria. They are easily spread from one person to another during vaginal, oral or anal sex. Partner Services works best in stopping the spread of STDs when partners are notified soon after your diagnosis.

Partner Services is also offered to people who were infected with syphilis within the last year.  This is when syphilis is most likely to be passed from person to person (infectious).  Priority cases for Partner Services follow-up for gonorrhea and chlamydia are given to those with certain risk factors (for example, pregnant women).

Partner Services Specialists want to act quickly to prevent the spread of these STDs. Fortunately, these three infections can be cured with antibiotics (medication). Both you and your recent sex partners must be treated.  You should also not have sex for at least 7 days after treatment.  This includes vaginal, oral and anal sex. Otherwise, you and/or your partners may become re-infected.

For more information on specific STDs, see the available Educational Materials.