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HIV/STI partner notification by providers

Health Factors: Sexual Activity
Decision Makers: Local Government State Government Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: <1% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

In HIV/STI partner notification by providers, known as provider referral, patients who test positive for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) voluntarily share information about current or past sex and needle-sharing partners with a health care provider; providers notify partners of their potential risk and help them seek counseling, testing, and prevention and care as appropriate (CG-HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, Hogben 2007). Provider referral is most often used for patients with HIV and syphilis (CDC MMWR-Partner services 2008). Notification is often completed by disease information specialists at public health departments or similar public health personnel (Cochrane-Ferreira 2013).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased STI testing

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that partner notification by provider referral increases testing for HIV among partners of newly diagnosed patients (CG-HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, Hogben 2016) and increases identification of HIV in undiagnosed individuals (CG-HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, Hogben 2016, Cochrane-Ferreira 2013).

Based on effectiveness among HIV patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends patient notification by provider referral for syphilis and, in high priority cases, gonorrhea and chlamydia (CDC MMWR-Partner services 2008). When resources do not allow provider referral, CDC recommends that patients infected with chlamydia and gonorrhea be counseled to inform their partners (CDC MMWR-Partner services 2008). Additional research is needed to confirm the most effective type of referral for STIs other than HIV (Cochrane-Ferreira 2013).

Use of electronic notification options such as text messaging, email, social networking and other websites and apps appear to be acceptable, particularly when partners might not have been notified (Pellowski 2016) or been unreachable without electronic notification (Hochberg 2015).

Implementation

United States

Partner notification services appear to be used widely; in 2016, most surveyed STI testing sites reported providing some form of partner notification services (Desir 2016).

Wisconsin

Provider referral is included as part of the Wisconsin HIV/AIDS Program’s Partner Services (WI DHS-HIV partner services).

Implementation Resources

CDC-HIV Partner services - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV, Hepatitis, STD and TB Partner Services. Contains recommendations at the state and local level to increase program collaboration, service integration, and decrease costs. Accessed on December 27, 2016
WI DHS-HIV partner services - Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS). HIV partner services. Accessed on January 4, 2017

Citations - Description

CDC MMWR-Partner services 2008 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recommendations for partner services programs for HIV infection, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydial infection. Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2008;57(RR-09):1-83. Accessed on December 27, 2016
CG-HIV/AIDS and pregnancy - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). HIV/AIDS, STIs, and pregnancy. Accessed on February 2, 2017
Cochrane-Ferreira 2013* - Ferreira A, Young T, Mathews C, Zunza M, Low N. Strategies for partner notification for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;(10):CD002843. Accessed on January 30, 2017
Hogben 2007* - Hogben M, McNally T, McPheeters M, Hutchinson AB. The effectiveness of HIV partner counseling and referral services in increasing identification of HIV-positive individuals a systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2007;33(2 Suppl):S89-S100. Accessed on December 27, 2016

Citations - Evidence

CDC MMWR-Partner services 2008 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recommendations for partner services programs for HIV infection, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydial infection. Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2008;57(RR-09):1-83. Accessed on December 27, 2016
CG-HIV/AIDS and pregnancy - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). HIV/AIDS, STIs, and pregnancy. Accessed on February 2, 2017
Cochrane-Ferreira 2013* - Ferreira A, Young T, Mathews C, Zunza M, Low N. Strategies for partner notification for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;(10):CD002843. Accessed on January 30, 2017
Hochberg 2015 - Hochberg CH, Berringer K, Schneider JA. Next-generation methods for HIV partner services: A systematic review. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2015;42(9):533-539. Accessed on January 30, 2017
Hogben 2016 - Hogben M, Collins D, Hoots B, O?Connor K. Partner services in STD prevention programs: A review. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2016;43(Suppl 1):S53-S62. Accessed on January 30, 2017
Pellowski 2016 - Pellowski J, Mathews C, Kalichman MO, Dewing S, Lurie MN, Kalichman SC. Advancing partner notification through electronic communication technology: A review of acceptability and utilization research. Journal of Health Communication. 2016;21(6):629-637. Accessed on January 30, 2017

Citations - Implementation

Desir 2016 - Desir FA, Ladd JH, Gaydos CA. Survey of partner notification practices for sexually transmissible infections in the United States. Sexual Health. 2016;13(2):162. Accessed on January 30, 2017
WI DHS-HIV partner services - Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS). HIV partner services. Accessed on January 4, 2017

Page Last Updated

February 3, 2017

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