HIV Partner Services
What are Partner Services?
HIV Partner Services (PS), previously known as "HIV Partner
Counseling and Referral Services" and "HIV Partner
Notification," assist persons with HIV infection in notifying their
sexual and/or needle-sharing partners of the partner's possible exposure
State law requires that all cases of HIV infection and AIDS are
reported to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH). State law
authorizes and requires the DPH and local health department (LHD) staff to
conduct surveillance, follow-up and other public health activities in
order to manage and control communicable diseases. The State
Epidemiologist in the Wisconsin DPH has officially designated LHDs to
assist the DPH in conducting disease control activities, including HIV PS.
The Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Program, located in the DPH, coordinates PS
activities, and services are provided by local health department (LHD)
All services that are part of PS are voluntary, client-centered, and
Fact Sheet: HIV Partner Services for Persons with HIV Infection
Who reports HIV and AIDS cases to the Wisconsin Division of Public
Health and what happens after reports are submitted?
HIV and AIDS cases are reported to the DPH by several individuals and
groups, including private physicians, HIV testing sites, prison health
services, and blood and plasma centers. The Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Program
receives these reports, records them confidentiality, and forwards them to
the PS Coordinator in the Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Program who then assigns
cases to a LHD PS provider for follow-up.
Who is eligible to receive HIV PS?
Anyone who tests positive for HIV can receive PS, including persons who
test confidentially (with their name identified) as well as those test
anonymously (without a name identified).
What services are provided by PS staff?
A PS staff member from the LHD first contacts a person with HIV infection
(the client) and requests to meet with them. The PS provider talks with
the client, helps identify the client's needs, and assists them in
connecting to HIV-related services.
The PS provider encourages the client to discuss the client's sex
and/or needle-sharing partners, including details about how to identify
and locate partners in order to inform them of their possible exposure to
HIV. PS staff who contact a client's partners do so in a manner that does
not disclose a client's identity to any partners. When talking with
partners, a PS provider will discuss HIV prevention and will offer HIV
testing services, either onsite or by referring the partner to an agency
that provides HIV testing.
What are the ways that sexual and needle-sharing partners might be
notified of their possible exposure to HIV?
When meeting with a person with HIV infection, PS staff identify several
ways sexual and needle-sharing partners can be told about their possible
exposure to HIV. These include:
- A PS provider can notify partners confidentially without disclosing
the infected person's identity.
- A person with HIV infection can notify their partners directly.
- A person with HIV infection and the PS provider can jointly notify
- A person with HIV infection can first try notifying their partners
and a PS provider can notify those partners who were not contacted.
- Service providers other than LHD PS staff (e.g., a person's health
care provider) can notify partners.
Sheet: Talking with Your Partners is an Act of Caring and Concern
How can I obtain PS?
If you are a person with HIV infection and would like assistance in
notifying sex and/or needle-sharing partners of their possible exposure to
HIV, here is
a listing of PS providers (PDF, 44 KB) or call the PS
Coordinator in the Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Program at 608-267-5288. Service
providers who would like to refer their clients for PS are encouraged to
access services in this same manner.
September 16, 2014