Perspectives: Partner Services
Every HIV test counseling session offers opportunities for HIV prevention and improved health. Counselors talk with HIV-negative clients about ways that clients want to reduce their chances of being exposed to HIV, and with clients who test preliminary positive, or confirmed positive, about linkages to care and referrals to maintain their health. In addition, the HIV Partner Services Program can help clients who are living with HIV to inform sexual and needle-sharing partners who may have been exposed to HIV. This allows these partners to make a more informed decision about whether to test for HIV themselves—and, if HIV-positive, to receive care and treatment. Since every new case of HIV involves both an HIV-negative and an HIV-positive person, Partner Services are a critical way of interrupting the spread of HIV.