Have you seen profiles like this one and wondered what they are doing on the site? Here is the story….
The profile linked above, and profiles like it, belong to a group of health workers called Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS). DIS perform something called ‘Partner Services’.
The goal of partner services is to stop the spread of infections by talking to those that have been exposed, helping them to get tested and treated if needed. Partner Services is voluntary and confidential, meaning that DIS can notify the partners to someone who has tested positive for an STD and/or HIV of their exposure and no one will be told who exposed them.
At first glance it may seem odd to have someone from a health department on the site; in many cases, however, the only information they are given about sex partners from those that test positive are screens names – which means that the only way they can contact that person to let them know they may have been exposed to an infection is through the site.
It makes great sense to try to stop the spread of disease by contacting those that are known to have been potentially exposed, as these efforts start from the source and reach out to those that may have been infected.
Medical and personal information is always kept private and confidential. If you choose to have a DIS talk with your partners, the specialist will not share your name, sex, or any other personal information about you. They also will not tell the partners when or where they were exposed.
Rest assured that your personal information is protected by Adam4Adam. The site never provides any information about you or your activity on the site to anyone. Adam4Adam allows these health care professionals on the site to inform individuals of their potential exposure, and to help them get tested and treated as needed. All health care professionals are verified by an independent third party before they are allowed to join the site. The verification process requires that they have proper credentials and that they have received professional training.
There are many things to consider when you consider talking to your partners about their exposure to STD/HIV and a DIS can help you decide the best way to do so. If you do not feel comfortable talking with your partners because you think that they might hurt you, it is important to not tell them about an STD/HIV exposure, or to at least wait until a later time. DIS are trained to work with situations like this, and are a great resource for you to use.
Hopefully you will never need to receive partner services. But, if you do, you can rest assured that the person you are speaking with can help. No matter how you got an infection, the right thing to do is to make sure that your partners have the chance to get treatment they may needed. Even if the person who infected you did not inform you, you can do the right thing and make sure that your partners are informed.
Partner services is another way to help protect each other from STDs and HIV.