Opt-Out Referral of Men Who Have Sex With Men Newly Diagnosed With HIV to Partner Notification Officers: Results and Yield of Sexual Partners Being Contacted
Given its potential for reducing the proportion of people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) unaware of their diagnosis, partner notification for HIV has been underutilized. This study aimed to determine if the implementation of opt-out referral of men who have sex with men, newly diagnosed with HIV, to partner notification officers (PNO) increased the proportion of sexual partners notified.
In April 2013, all individuals newly diagnosed with HIV at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia were referred to Department of Health PNO to facilitate partner notification. The number of sexual partners reported by men and the proportion contacted in the 12 months before (opt-in period) and after (opt-out period) this policy change were determined through review of the clinical PNO records.
Opt-out referral to PNO was associated with a substantially higher proportion of partners at risk of HIV being contacted.