Background: In 2008, Philadelphia Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) began offering Partner Services (PS) to HIV-positive patients identified in the City STD Clinics and through partnerships with local AIDS Service Organizations.
Objectives: To describe partner outcomes and determine success of following partners elicited through PS.
Methods: This retrospective analysis was conducted on all interview records from January 2008 – June 2009.
Results: In 18 months, 362 of 380 (95.3%) HIV-infected persons were interviewed for partner elicitation. With 352 named contacts, we calculated a contact index of 0.97 contacts per case. Many (44.5%) had no contacts elicited. Most of the reported cases (87.6%) and named contacts (90.3%) were male. Among the named contacts, the median age was 30 years (range: 16-70 years). Additionally, 71.3% of named contacts self-identified as black; 8.5% self-identified as white; 3.1% self-identified as Hispanic; and, 17.0% did not identify a race/ethnicity. Of 200 partners contacted for HIV testing, 36.5% (73/200) self-reported that they knew they were already HIV infected. Of the 117 partners tested, 31 (26.5%) were HIV+ for the first time. Additionally, 22 of the 31 newly HIV diagnosed partners reported having no prior test for HIV. These partners were twice as likely to be diagnosed with HIV after partner services, as compared to those who reported a prior test for HIV (Odds Ratio: 2.1, 95% Confidence Limits: 0.8-5.7).
Conclusions: Partner services are successful at identifying individuals who benefit from HIV testing. Additionally, these services identified, tested, and diagnosed partners who self-reported having never been tested for HIV. Future analyses will need to monitor the trend of HIV diagnosis among those who have never tested for HIV.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Partner services are important for notifying persons of an exposure to HIV and providing a direct linkage to HIV testing services.