A Systematic Review of HIV Partner Counseling and Referral Services: Client and Provider Attitudes, Preferences, Practices, and Experiences

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Objectives:The objectives of this study were to understand client and provider attitudes, experiences, and practices regarding HIV partner notification in the United States and to help identify future research and program needs.Goals:The goals of this study were to synthesize the literature reporting client and provider attitudes, experiences, and practices and to identify potential negative effects of HIV partner notification.Study Design:This study consisted of a systematic qualitative review.Results:Clients were willing to self-notify partners and participate in provider notification, and few reported negative effects. The majority of healthcare providers were in favor of HIV partner notification; however, they did not consistently refer index clients to HIV partner notification programs.Conclusion:Considering that clients have positive attitudes toward self- and provider referral, local HIV prevention programs need to ensure that all HIV-positive clients are offered partner notification services. Additional research is needed to assess the potential risks of notifying partners and to identify effective techniques to improve client and provider participation.

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