Erie County Department of Health HIV Partner Services Programs
Research demonstrates that prevention counseling can reduce risk for acquiring a new STD. Effective behavioral interventions can reduce risk behaviors, and HIV positive individuals who are aware of their status have significantly lower transmission risk behaviors than those who are unaware. It has also been demonstrated that Partner Services (PS) conducted by public health professionals are effective at increasing HIV testing and identifying new cases of HIV infection. Department of health-based notification identifies enough partners to reduce transmission and promote infection control, and more partners are treated through PS than through other strategies.
HIV Partner Services Program
The overall goal of the HIV Partner Services Program is to assist HIV infected individuals and their medical providers in identifying sexual and needle-sharing partners, including spouses and notifying them of their possible exposure to HIV and other STD’S.
Public Health Educator
Expanded Partner Services Program
This program will use surveillance data to identify HIV positive individuals who are not currently engaged in medical care and/or have no evidence of HIV-related lab work (CD4 or Viral Load) in the past 13-24 months. These individuals will, on average, have much higher viral loads (VL) than individuals engaged in care. A higher VL is associated with increased HIV infectiousness. Successful Anti Retro-Viral therapy leads to rapid VL decrease. Thus, out-of-care individuals and those with high viral loads are important to target for enhanced PS, along with those who may be unaware of their HIV status. A new STD in an HIV-infected person also signals the likelihood that an HIV-infected person is engaging in behaviors that expose others to HIV. These individuals will be targeted for enhanced partner services, with the specific objectives of re-engaging them in medical care and notifying and testing/treating partners.
Disease Intervention Specialist