When people in Massachusetts are diagnosed with one of several sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides sexual health services. These services are all free, voluntary, and confidential. If you have been diagnosed with HIV or another STD, someone from a team of specially-trained staff can:
- Answer your questions about STDs and HIV
- Help you get medical care or treatment
- Help tell sexual partners that they might have been exposed
- Help partners get testing and medical care
- Help you and your partners prevent STDs in the future
How Does the Partner Services Program Help Me?
It can be helpful in many ways. Someone will meet with you to talk about:
- The testing and treatment you receive and/or the ongoing medical care you may need, including PrEP
- How to get other services you may need
- How to tell your partners they may have been exposed to an STD
- How to prevent getting and passing STDs when having sex
- Where to get condoms and other prevention tools
How Will Telling My Partners Help Me?
People have said that it can feel awkward, uncomfortable, or even scary to think about how to tell partners they might have been exposed to HIV or another STD, but the Partner Services team is there to make it easier. They can talk to your partners for you (without telling them anything about you) or help you talk to them yourself. Telling them is important because:
- You are less likely to get another STD in the future if they get tested and treated
- Letting them know gives them a chance to take care of their health
When the Partner Services Program team talks to your partners, they won’t tell them your name, gender, or anything about you at all. They won’t even tell them the date they may have been exposed. Instead, they will:
- Let them know that they might have been exposed to HIV or an STD
- Help them get testing and medical care if needed
- Help them prevent getting or passing STDs in the future
For more information about the Partner Services Program, visit mass.gov/dph/psp or call 617-983-6999.