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When you are diagnosed with a reportable STI, anyone you have had sexual contact with or shared drug equipment with needs to be notified that they have been exposed to a communicable infection. This is sometimes called ‘contact tracing’ or ‘partner notification’. It is important that others who may also have STI get treated so that they do not pass it to others or pass it back to you, and to reduce the chance of longer-term health problems.
A health care provider (such as your doctor or a public health nurse) will ask about past and present sexual partners and anyone you have shared drug equipment with. The health care provider will then develop a plan with you on how to notify these sexual partners and/or drug contacts. They can also help you decide the best way to let partners know they need to get tested. Partners can be told by you, a health care provider, or anonymously. You can talk with your health care provider about who should be informed and what is the best way to let them know.