Partner Services

Partner Services are a broad array of services that should be offered to persons with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their sexual or substance-use equipment (i.e., needles, syringes, etc.)-sharing partners. A key resource for disease intervention specialists (DIS) and other partner services providers is Passport to Partner Services, which will be soon replaced by the Principles, Practices, Pathways to Disease Intervention (3PDI) national curriculum.

About Partner Services

DIS are usually health department personnel who are specifically trained to provide Partner Services. Some health departments, however, use different titles for persons providing partner services. In addition, in certain jurisdictions, other persons (e.g., HIV counselors or clinicians), either inside or outside of the health department, provide certain or all elements of partner services.

An important job of Partner Services is partner notification, a process through which infected persons are interviewed to elicit information about their partners, who can then be confidentially notified of their possible exposure or potential risk. Other roles of partner services include prevention counseling, testing for HIV and other types of STDs (not necessarily limited to syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydial infection), hepatitis screening and vaccination, treatment or linkage to medical care, linkage or referral to other prevention services, and linkage or referral to other services (e.g., reproductive health services, prenatal care, substance use treatment, social support, housing assistance, legal services, and mental health services).

CDC strongly recommends that all persons with newly diagnosed or reported HIV infection or early syphilis receive Partner Services with active health department involvement. Persons diagnosed with gonorrhea or chlamydial infection are also suitable candidates for Partner Services; however, disease burden and resource limitations may prevent direct health department involvement.

Core Elements

The following serve as the foundation for providing Partner Services:

  • Client centered.
  • Confidential.
  • Voluntary and non-coercive.
  • Free.
  • Evidence based.
  • Culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate.
  • Accessible and available to all.
  • Comprehensive and integrative.

Passport to Partner Services/Principles, Practices, Pathways to Disease Intervention (3PDI)

Passport to Partner Services has been the comprehensive national curriculum that provides training for DIS and other Partner Services providers. All Passport to Partner Services modules are available on CDC TRAIN. To access these modules, log into CDC TRAIN and search “Passport to Partner Services” or enter course ID# 4299.  The instructor-led Passport to Partner Services course is not currently being offered.

In 2022, Passport to Partner Services curriculum will be replaced by the Principles, Practices, and Pathways to Disease Intervention (3PDI) modules. DIS and others who perform partner services will need to complete the 3PDI training to become certified disease investigation providers. Watch for announcements on CDC TRAIN and through other CDC announcements for more information.

To request technical assistance:

  1. CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request technical assistance by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
  2. Organizations not directly funded by CDC may contact their local health department for assistance in submitting a request.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact