Health : Disease Intervention Specialists

Here at Adam4Adam, we are committed to your health. We want you to have fun AND stay healthy. That’s why we partner with health specialists, who can help link you to information and services. On A4A, we have two kinds of specialists. You can find out which services they provide in their profiles.


The first are outreach workers, who can provide you with information about STDs and HIV and link you to services and resources in your area.


The second kind are called “Disease Intervention Specialists,” or DIS. They’re highly trained, and for decades have played an essential role in stopping the spread of STDs and HIV by helping people get tested and treated. They’re employed by either a health department or a community-based organization.


If you are ever diagnosed by a doctor with syphilis or HIV (as well as some other STDs), a DIS will get in touch with you. They’ll offer to work with you to tell your sex partners that they may have been exposed, and encourage them to go to their doctor, or a clinic, to be tested. Working with DIS is completely voluntary.


If you’re uncomfortable telling your partners directly, you can ask a DIS to help you. They will reach out to your partners to let them know that they have been exposed to an STD or HIV . The DIS will NEVER tell your partner your name or that you were the one who asked for help notifying them. DIS are committed to protecting your privacy. Furthermore, DIS will not give any details that would reveal where, or when, your partner may have been exposed.


Most men want to let their partners know about a potential STD and are glad that their partners are notified and are able to get tested and treated. And many men who get notified are grateful that they got the information. Because many people with STDs never experience any symptoms, they often don’t know they have an STD or that they could unknowingly give it to someone else.


If you get approached by a DIS here on Adam4Adam, it usually means that you have been exposed to an STD or HIV. Again, DIS will not give you the name of the person who may have exposed you or give you any information about where or when you may have been exposed. The DIS will help you get tested, and if necessary, treated by connecting you to the health department or your own doctor. They may also follow up with you after.


Here are some important facts about DIS:

  • DIS are trained health professionals whose job it is to notify people that they have been exposed to an STD or HIV.
  • You get to choose if, and what, information you provide to a DIS. It’s totally voluntary.
  • Adam4Adam will never collect any information on you, or give it to a DIS.

If you have any questions about DIS or the services they can provide, please contact


To find out where to get a free, confidential HIV or STD test near you, go to


There are 16 comments

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  1. Samito

    Intervention is a key word, no doubt. I have to gave up more than one hook up, since I notice the other person has genital warts. And even when you explain this person the reason is not a good idea to have sex and that is important to go to see a doctor, the person gets upset. Opposition, resistance, attitude does not help for someone with a STD or HVI.

  2. Martin

    I am a dentist and like other health care professions, we have the same “Universal Precaution.” This means that we treat every patient we see as if they were infected. This will prevent us from spreading (any) disease from the patient onto the others.

    With this in mind, we should treat every sex partner as if they were infected. Condoms are free at the community offices and of course the gay bars. Prevention will put the stop to the spreading of the disease.

    Do you think HIV drugs are cheap? It is $90/pill. And if you are taking it everyday it will cost you $2700/month. I don’t know what kind of job you do, but $2700/month is not cheap. And trust me, Obama is not going to pay for your HIV meds.

  3. Taylor

    The core issue is the attitudes and behaviors of the numerous guys here that have some kind of std, choose not to be tested to find out, or those that do, in fact, know that they have something and consciously decide not to disclose that information to their Adam4Adam “hookups”. When drugs and alcohol are involved, which they are many times and are even a part of the A4A profile, you end up with a recipe for disaster.

  4. Dan

    Appreciate this blog posting, I’ve often seen those health profiles and think it’s a very good idea. Martin’s comment about “universal sex practices” is great advice. As a poz guy, I am astonished by the number of profiles specifying “clean” or “disease free” partners only, rather than specifying that they engage in safer sex with anyone they hook up with. I so appreciate the negative guys who are open to playing or dating because they treat everyone the same way: wrapping up and having great safe sex.

  5. Chaz

    The diluted sense of reality that most young gay men have about HIV/AIDS is appalling! HIV infections within the gay community are on a severe rise. I’m only 26 with many friends who are positive (most are older than me) and having seen many young gay men that I work with or have met tell me they don’t use condoms is nauseating. They unfortunately are unaware of the AIDS Crisis that affected gay men where most HIV positive patients didn’t live past a year if they were lucky. They are optimistically unaware that “it will never happen to me” or “I know he’s not positive” but truly have no idea just how dangerous they’re practices are! Even more so, the gay AND straight porn industry have done society a TRUE disservice by not promoting safer sex to the best of their abilities and with the rise of bareback porn creating a false sense of reality that all behaviors are ok when it comes to health and safety, we will NEVER see and HIV Free Generation. “Gift-givers” and “bug chasers” and even more an increase of PNP with cocktails of drugs to get you high, only means that one day you will be sure to have quite of few “cocktails” of “drugs” daily for the rest of your life. SILENCE=DEATH

  6. conrad

    I like these blogs on adam4adam…silence does = death or least a lifetime of misery. My particular situation is one of being an older man coming out late in life. Finding myself single and believe it or not, desirable. But there are many questions, many lies, and denials. Finding that there are many ‘mature’ men in the same boat I have been trying to start a mature gay mens’ support group in my area.The purpose of the group is many-fold but todays blog is something we need to address, especially going into ‘open’ partnerships.

  7. REX

    It is a great service, we need more support/education and prevention services. I’m just not at ease with the quote, “Partner Services is voluntary and confidential, meaning that DIS can notify the partners to someone who has tested positive for an STD and/or HIV of their exposure and NO ONE WILL BE TOLD WHO EXPOSED THEM.” (LMBO) I know if I received a called telling me I’ve been exposed to an STD/HIV I would know who exposed me. It would be so much better to encourage the infected person to do communicate with their partner(s). If the infected person is unable to confess, than I feel DIS should step in and make the call.

  8. Malcolm

    I worked with several DIS in my last line of work as a sexual health comm specialist. While a few (in my opinion) could seriously use a class in etiquette, they do a job many of us could not do. They serve a valuable purpose in keeping our society healthy.

  9. Michael Clark

    Would be nice to find a local (to Redding) support group. One that cna help spread good information about prevention, what practices are considered safe, what risky, etc. As another now old man exposed sporadically to gay lifethrough his younger years but really just moving into full time at an advanced age, think it is important that there be resources made readally available that explain in relatively straight forwardd terms what is consider safe (kissing?), not safe (unprotected anal sex), sort of safe (unprotected frontal oral and swalling juices), etc. I find a lot of different opinions and tend to therefore not protext myself in general.Maybe it doesn’t matter as far as my life goes (i might normally have another 20 good years left before i have to slow down), but what i do could certainly matter to someone elses likfe.

  10. Jason

    Quote: With this in mind, we should treat every sex partner as if they were infected. Condoms are free at the community offices and of course the gay bars. Prevention will put the stop to the spreading of the disease.

    Reply: I agree with this 100%, however there is a new mindset among many gay men where they scorn the idea of prevention, and only want to focus on treatment. How do you counter that kind of thinking?

  11. Jason

    Quote: The diluted sense of reality that most young gay men have about HIV/AIDS is appalling! HIV infections within the gay community are on a severe rise.

    Reply: I totally agree with you, and have been saying this in all of my postings only for people to come back with post telling me how wrong I am and that with the new meds, HIV is some sort of walk in the park, and the meds are all safe as candy. The most upsetting thing is many of these people posting such crap are HIV+

    Even more upsetting than this, is I know people who have this exact mindset in real life!

  12. scott

    i blame heteros for HIV and AIDS. its the reason i lost alot of friends and got infected myself. i am getting sick and tired of being part of the AIDS epidemic. heteros dont care-they keep spreading . here in america and around the world.

  13. robert

    If the person you had sex with is positive,and does not tell you they are positive, and you have BB sex with them, and become infected,is the original positive person in danger of being arrested for withholding their status?

  14. John

    There is a former friend of mine who is online and is HIV positive but his profile says that he is negative. I have reported him but his profile remains. What is his legal responsibility for properly reporting his true status even if he becomes HIV undetectable? BTW, he is a former friend because he stole from me before he became positive and NOT because he is positive.

    • Anthony

      John you can actually talk to him and state the reasons you want him change is behavior-Be proactive, talk about disclosure and the benefits of prevention. Remember we are in era of TaSP, PrEP and DIS. Remember people are responsible for their choices in health and their are consequences. There is still Sex or HIV related stigma and discrimination for being Gay Bi or MSM.

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