The Usefulness of Individual-Level HIV Surveillance Data to Initiate Statewide HIV Partner Services: Experiences From Hawaii and New Mexico

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Abstract

Context:

Partner services are a broad array of services that should be offered to persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and that are based on a process through which HIV-infected persons are interviewed to elicit information about their sex and needle-sharing partners. Human immunodeficiency virus testing of partners can result in a high yield of newly diagnosed HIV positivity, but despite this yield and the benefits of partners knowing their exposures and HIV status, partner services are often not conducted.

Objective:

We sought to determine the newly diagnosed HIV positivity and benefits to 2 health departments that conducted demonstration projects that focused on statewide HIV partner services.

Design:

The main sources of information used for this case study analysis included the health department funding applications, progress reports and final reports submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and records of communications between Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the health departments. Required quantitative reporting included the number of partners tested and the number of partners with newly diagnosed confirmed HIV infection. Required qualitative reporting included how health departments benefited from their demonstration project activities.

Setting:

Hawaii and New Mexico.

Participants:

Sex and needle-sharing partners of persons who were newly diagnosed with HIV infection.

Intervention:

The use of HIV surveillance data to initiate statewide HIV partner services.

Main Outcome Measure:

Newly diagnosed HIV positivity.

Results:

During 2012-2015, the newly diagnosed HIV positivity among partners was 18% (78/427): 16% (17/108) in Hawaii and 19% (61/319) in New Mexico. The health departments benefited from improved collaborations among HIV prevention program and surveillance staff and among the health departments, providers, and AIDS service organizations.

Conclusions:

Hawaii and New Mexico each achieved a high newly diagnosed HIV positivity and benefited from improved local collaborations. As a result of the success of these projects, both health departments have continued the activities since the end of category C funding by securing alternative funding sources.

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