Ways of notifying contacts


There are different methods by which contacts can be informed:

  • In person
  • Phone call/ text
  • Social Media
  • Web-based partner notification tools
  • Email
  • Letter
  • Internet-based, that is Social Media (where local governance permits)
  • Referral to a specialist

Most index patients like to notify their partners in person or over the phone[1]. Research has demonstrated improved outcomes in HIV and syphilis notification and subsequent access to testing and treatment using social media[2,3].

Referring cases to a local specialist service for support in your Australian state or territory may enhance the outcome.

Note: There may be risks involved when contact tracing by phone/text. It is not uncommon for some people to share phones between multiple users. Make sure a ‘safe’ number is used and the message does not disclose sensitive information. A ‘safe’ number is one that the index patient provides and to which they have private access.  A ‘safe’ number may also be one the index patient provides that they do not own but they trust the owner to maintain confidentiality.

Available resources to support both patients and health care providers to undertake partner notification are listed below.

Resources for patient-initiated contact tracing


Resources for Provider-Initiated Contact Tracing

Resource Access
STI treatment and management guidelines



https://www.nzshs.org/guidelines ***

https://www.justthefacts.co.nz/get-sti-help/sexual-health-professionals-new-zealand ***

Treatment letter for patient to give to their partner/s



State-based specialist partner notification services

Victoria: Partner Notification Support Unit: (03) 9096 3367

NSW: NSW Sexual Health lnfolink: 1800 451 624

Queensland: HIV Public Health Team: (07) 3328 9797 or go to Contact tracing for sexually transmissible infections at the Queensland Health website

Northern Territory: Clinic 34: (08) 8999 2678

Western Australia: Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control (08) 9222 8588 Or,

Partner Notification Officers (08) 9222 8549 or (08) 9222 8577 

Or, search for your regional population/public health unit:


South Australia: Adelaide Sexual Health Centre: (08) 7117 2800

Tasmania: Tasmania Public Health: (03) 6166 0655

ACT: Canberra Sexual Health Clinic: (02) 6244 2184

New Zealand:

Contact your local sexual health service:


nzshs.org/clinics#greymouth ***









*Service for gay and bi-sexual men/men who have sex with men

**Service for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples

***Services in New Zealand

  1. Hopkins, C.A., Temple-Smith, M.J., Fairley, C.K. et al.Telling partners about chlamydia: how acceptable are the new technologies?. BMC Infect Dis10, 58 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-10-58
  2. Udeagu C-CN, Bocour A, Shar S, et al Bringing HIV Partner Services Into the Age of Social Media and Mobile Connectivity Sexually Transmitted Diseases: October 2014 - Volume 41 - Issue 10 - p 631-636 doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000181
  3. Wilkinson AL, Pedrana AE, El-Hayek C et al; The Impact of a Social Marketing Campaign on HIV and Sexually Transmissible Infection Testing Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Australia  Sexually Transmitted Diseases: January 2016 - Volume 43 - Issue 1 - p 49-56 doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000380