Kahabuka, C., Plotkin, M., Christensen, A., et al. AIDS and Behavior (March 2017), e-publication ahead of print, doi:10.1007/s10461-017-1750-5.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015 as a "real-world" examination of the effectiveness and feasibility of partner notification for HIV testing services (HTS) in Njombe, Tanzania. At three high-volume hospitals, men and women who were newly diagnosed with HIV were enrolled as index clients. Consenting clients completed a questionnaire on demographics and sexual history and provided information on their past and current sexual partners. They were then given options for notifying their partners and linking them to HTS. Of 653 newly diagnosed individuals, 390 index clients were enrolled—chiefly through the passive approach, in which clients contacted partners according to a timeline developed jointly by the index client and the provider. Enrollees listed 438 sexual partners, of whom 249 (56.8%) came to the facility for testing. Nearly all of these referred partners (96%) were tested for HIV; 148 tested positive (61.9%), with women more often testing positive than men. Among partners testing positive, 104 (70.3%) were enrolled into HIV care and treatment. The authors noted the high rate of positivity found in this study, and concluded that partner notification could dramatically increase the number of undiagnosed HIV-positive persons who are identified and linked to care. They recommended this approach as an important strategy for reaching global 90-90-90 goals.