PCRS Fact Sheet


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According to the Centers for Disease Control Advancing HIV Prevention for a Changing Epidemic, there are an estimated 56,000 new HIV infections reported in the United States annually and about 25% of those infected are unaware of their status.

Partner Services, also known as Partner Counseling and Referral Services, is a public health program designed to support people living with HIV and STD's by notifying their partners that they should be tested and linking those partners to testing and treatment. Partner Services is always voluntary and confidential for the person living with HIV and their partners. A variety of providers in California have been trained to offer Partner Services and to locate and notify persons who may be unaware that they have been exposed to HIV and/or STD's. Please read the fact sheet below for details about this key service. For more information, contact Phoenix Smith at 510-620-3182 or at phoenix.smith@cdph.ca.gov .

To download related promotion resources from our SWAP website, go to
http://www.stdhivtraining.org/material_swap.html  and search on the text keyword "partner."

California HIV Partner Services Program
November 2008

What is Partner Services? 

Partner Services, also known as Partner Counseling and Referral Services, is a health department program that supports people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and/or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in notifying sexual and/or needle sharing partners of exposure.

Partner Services are always voluntary, client centered and confidential for both the person living with HIV and their partner(s). Partner Services provides three options for letting partners know they may have been exposed to HIV and/or STD and provide linkages to testing and medical care.

1) Anonymous Third Party: Specially trained health department staff notifies partners without disclosing any information about the original client.

2) Dual Disclosure: The original client wants to disclose to partners his or herself, with the support of specially trained health department staff. Health department staff is present to answer questions and provide immediate linkage to services once the original client has told the partner of their exposure.

3) Self Disclosure: The original client notifies his or her partner(s), after working with trained partner services staff to develop a disclosure plan.

How are Partner Services implemented in California?

At the local level, Partner Services are available in STD clinics, HIV counseling and testing, education and prevention, and care sites where people living with HIV receive services. While the majority of program services are offered by local health department staff, many community based organizations, private medical doctors, community clinics, correctional facilities, and HMOs are now partnering with the local health department to provide Partner Services for their clients.

Partner Services activities has been recognized at the state and national levels as an effective intervention whose benefits extend to people living with HIV and/or other STDs, their partners and the larger community. The California Department of Public Health Office of AIDS and Division of Communicable Disease Control Sexually Transmitted Disease Control Branch prioritize partner services activities and collaborate in the oversight, funding and support for implementation of partner services in California.

How do I access Partner Services?

If you are a person living with HIV and would like assistance in notifying your sex and/or needle sharing partners of a potential exposure please go to http://www.stdcheckup.org/provider/partner_contact.html  
or call the AIDS Hotline at (800) 367-2437.

If you are a provider or clinic that would like to provide partner services for your clients or establish a referral system to the local partner services staff, go to http://www.stdcheckup.org/provider/partner_contact.html
to find the local HIV partner services coordinator and be linked to a specially trained staff person in your area.

If you are a community based organization or HMO that would like technical assistance in establishing a partner services program within your organization, contact the California HIV Partner Services program for technical assistance at 510-620-3182.

How do I receive training for Partner Services?

Training for HIV and STD Partner Services is provided by the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center and the California HIV Partner Services Unit. Please go to the CA PTC website http://www.stdhivtraining.org or call the California HIV Partner Services Unit at (510) 620-3182.


• For access to the Center for Disease Control Partner Services Guidelines go to

• California Partner Services Program (510) 620-3182.

• California AIDS hotline (800) 367-2437.


California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center
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