FAQs


Who We Are

We are a group of HIV and STD prevention organizations who have come together to support sexual health. Many of us are from the community ourselves. We also have our own sex lives, and know from our personal experience that it can be hard to tell partners that they may have been exposed to an STD. We also know it feels better knowing that we’re taking care of our part- ners’ health. We believe that the more ways we have of telling our partners, the better off we’ll all be.

How This Works

There are five sections and takes less than 2 minutes to complete.

Text a sexual partner that they might be at risk of an STD. If you text a partner, it will ALWAYS be anonymous. (Keep in mind that if your partner has only had sex with you, they’ll likely know it was from you). Studies have shown that anonymous notification options improve the rate of partner notification, which contributes to the successful detection, diagnosis, and treatment of transmitted infections.

You will be required to authenticate you are a real person and not sending a malicious text by authenticating through a text. This step will not reveal your identity and will still send an anony- mous text.

The message that will be sent will look like this:

This is an important message about your health.
Through an anonymous notification service, one of your sexual partners wants to let you know that you may have been exposed to (Diseases selected will be listed here).
Since you may not have any symptoms, we recommend getting tested.
For more information, including how to find a free clinic, please visit https://tellyourpartner.org/info
If you feel you are getting this text as a form of harassment, please text back REPORT.

I Received a message

Remember sexually transmitted infections are just bacteria and virus and are passed from person to person through sexual contact. Someone you’ve had sexual contact with may have exposed you to an STD and cares about your health. Studies have shown that anonymous notification options improve the rate of partner notification, which contributes to the successful detection, diagnosis, and treatment of transmitted infections. It’s always a good idea to take care of your health, and the CDC recommends getting tested for STDs and HIV at least once and more often based on your risk and behavior.

I want to stop receiving messages

No problem! You can easily ensure our system does not contact you in a couple of ways.

If you just received a text from our service, please text back “STOP” to the number. If you don’t have the notification text anymore, please go to tellyourpartner.org/info and enter your phone number in the designated space at the end of the page and follow the prompts. Please note once you remove yourself from being contacted from our system no one will be able to send you a notification message even if it is warranted.

I want to report harassment

Before reporting a malicious or harassing notification, know that notifications are designed to include partners based on recommended prior contact periods ranging from 30 days to 12 months depending on the disease reported. In some cases, this time frame may be over-inclusive with respect to a specific partner but ensures that adequate contact tracing can be conducted.

We have put in place several mechanisms for protecting the privacy of both parties to the notification and taken steps to prevent the service from being used for spam or harassment. However, we cannot rule out that you have received this message in error if the person entered an incorrect phone number. If you believe the message was sent maliciously, please text “REPORT” to the text message sent from our service. Please note, we do not contact the recipient (you) or the sender (the person who initiated the text) once a number has been reported and do not give any personal details about the communication.

I didn’t get the confirmation code

This tends to happen when a phone carrier has deemed a particular number as a sender of unwanted information (SPAM), thus blocking that number from contacting the phone carrier’s customers. We recommend you contact your phone provider and let them know that this particular phone number is allowed to communicate with you directly.

My message status says not sent

This can happen for a lot of reasons. Some common reasons are as follows: First, please confirm you are sending to a cell phone number and not a landline. Next, if you are calling from or sending to a phone number outside the U.S., your message will not go through–we do not support international communication. Lastly, internet connections are not always stable and/or you may not be connected to the internet at all.

My message status says sent

Wonderful! This means that your notification was successfully processed by our service. Please note, it is still a possibility that the recipient did not receive it during the time of its transmission.

Opt back in and receive future messages

We understand sometimes you may want to “OPT IN” to receiving messages again from our system. To do so please go to tellyourpartner.org/info and enter your phone number in the designated area and follow the prompts.

FIND AN STD/HIV TESTING LOCATION NEAR YOU

Sexual Health Resources

Click here for information about STDs.

If you got diagnosed with……notify the following:
ChlamydiaSexual contact within the 90 days before you had symptoms or were diagnosed
GonorrheaSexual contact within the 90 days before you had symptoms or were diagnosed
Primary Syphilis
(Sores)
Sexual contact within the 12 months before you had symptoms or were diagnosed
Hepatitis BSexual contact within the 12 months before you were diagnosed
HerpesSexual contact within the 12 months before you were diagnosed
HIVSexual contact within the 12 months before you were diagnosed
ScabiesSexual contact within the 30 days before you were diagnosed

LANGUAGE TIPS

AS ADAPTED FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION

Sample script in case you want to tell someone in another way and could use some tips.

While it may sound daunting to think about talking to your recent sex partners, perhaps also including your primary partner, and telling them that you’ve been diagnosed with an STD, it’s important to let them know as soon as possible so they can get treatment, too. If these are people you have regular sexual relationships with, it can be even more important to discuss this because if one partner is untreated, many STDs can be passed back and forth indefinitely.

Remember, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are treatable STDs, where antibiotics work. New treatments for HIV are so effective that people can stay healthy and live a normal lifespan. Talking to your partners about your diagnosis will not only reduce the stigma associated with getting an STD, but will help take care of the health of you, your sex partners, and the entire community.

You have to come to terms with your own diagnosis before you start talking to your partners. It’s unrealistic to expect other people to understand if you’re uncomfortable with the diagnosis yourself. How well-informed are you? Do you know the facts about STDs? You want to feel confident and knowledgeable before you explain the infection to someone else. You can also always call the CDC National STD Hotline with questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-227-8922 or 800-342-2437. In addition to talking to you personally, they can mail you brochures and information to have on hand to give to your partners.

If you’re nervous about talking to your partners, here are a few tips to help you gain confidence:

  • Try role-playing with a trusted friend or in front of a mirror. Practice saying the words out loud.
  • Choose a neutral setting during a time when you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Be natural.
  • Speak with confidence. You are not lecturing or confessing. You’re sharing personal information.
  • Remain calm. If you’re upset, a partner might think it’s worse than it is. Remember your delivery and body language becomes your message, too.
  • Expect your partner to be accepting and supportive. People usually act as you expect them to act.

While some people may overreact, some won’t bat an eye. Whatever happens, try to be flexible. This is about sexual health — it’s not a “whodunit” mystery. Keep your perspective: syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea symptoms are annoying, but harmless if you get proper treatment. If left untreated, not only can these infections wreak havoc on your body, but they can make it much easier to transmit HIV from sex partner to partner. Take care of yourself. Take care of your community. Talking to your partner is a great first step.

Privacy policy

If you have any questions, please email contact@tellyourpartner.org.

For each message sent on Tell Your Partner, we store the date and time of the request, sender’s IP address, message transaction ID, and the status of the message sent.  Our system also stores the sender’s phone number for authorization purposes and to enable us to identify those who use the service inappropriately.

For recipients, we store the phone number the message was sent to for verification purposes. This information is stored indefinitely in our database. It is NCSD’s policy not to sell, trade or give away this information.

We may use information about your server, IP address and browser-related information in the general administration of our website. We may use aggregate information (i.e. number of messages sent per month, etc.) for administration and improvements to our site, as well as in articles and presentations in professional journals, conferences and workshops.

We may correlate to the aggregate information additional non-specific user data, such as the date, time, destination of message.  Third party providers of services, such as SMS messaging, may also save transactional information associated with their services. Third-party providers are governed by their own privacy policies, which you should review prior to using their services.

What do you do with my information

We store the following information in our secure database when a person submits a request:
– Date/time of the request
– Sender IP address
– Message transaction id
– Phone number
– Status of message (“sent” or “error”)

We need this information to send the message request, in addition to offering people the option to “REPORT”, “BLOCK” or “START” if they choose.

What do you do with my partner’s information

For each recipient, we store the following:
– Date/time of the request
– Message transaction id
– Phone number
– Status of message (“sent” or “error”)