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Introducing Technology into Partner Services: A Toolkit for Programs

Technology-Based Partner Services

Executive Summary

Ideas, Protocols, Questions?

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Technology-based Partner Services

The Toolkit for technology-based STD and HIV Partner Services (IPS) serves as a general resource for health departments, community-based organizations (CBOs) and others authorized to provide HIV/STD partner services (PS). It is designed for use with the Internet and other digital technologies, such as mobile phones, computers, and social networking sites, to trace and contact persons potentially exposed to HIV and other STDs.  This toolkit updates IPS information found in the 2008 National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) Guidelines for Internet-based Partner Services1 and is a supplement to the 2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommendations for Partner Services Programs for HIV Infection, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydial Infection.2

As trends in communication and technology have advanced, the use of current and emerging technologies to reach at-risk individuals has become essential. Individuals for whom there are only virtual identifiers, such as an email address or user name, are unreachable without online search engines, email, access to online communities, and other electronic tools.

This toolkit provides information, suggestions, and resources about the various components of an IPS program. It should be useful in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating a jurisdiction-specific IPS program.   It is not intended to be used as a list of “required activities” for Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS)*. The information presented in the toolkit is based on published and unpublished evaluations, program experience, expert opinion, and input from several state health departments and community-based nonprofit organizations.

*For the purposes of this document, we use the term DIS to include any staff who interview patients and elicit partner information and perform partner notification.  Other terms for DIS may include Public Health Investigators, Disease Prevention Specialists, Public health Advisors, etc.

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This toolkit benefited from the invaluable input, feedback and editing of numerous people.  We are thankful for their time and contribution.

These individuals are:

Steve Beagle (NC), Elin Begley (CDC), Gail Bolan (CDC), Ryan Cramer (CDC), Johnny Cross (LA LGBT Center), Samuel Dooley (CDC), Elise Dunnigan (KS), Jeffrey Egan (CA), Kelly Firenze (NY), Chad Hendry (Howard Brown), Matthew Hogben (CDC), Jill Huppert (CDC), Kathleen Irwin (CDC), Priya Jakhmola (CDC), Scott Janes (CDC), Sandra Kendrick (WA), Bernard Linzy (AL), Mary McFarlane (CDC), Juan Mendez (OR), Victoria Moody (CDC), Mark Pawelczak (OH), Daniel Pohl (Howard Brown), Alan Powell (CA), Rolanda Renteria (Howard Brown, Raul Romaguera (CDC), Lamont Scales (CDC), Jennifer VandeVelde (KS)

Lastly, we would like to remember Juan Mendez, whose dedication to STD Prevention and contributions to the advancement of partner services will be sorely missed.


Suggested Citation:

Kachur, R., Strona, F.V., Kinsey, J. & Collins, D. Introducing Technology into Partner Services:
A Toolkit for Programs
, Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;