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Evaluating Named-Based HIV Reporting in New York State: A Comprehensive Study

Guthrie Birkhead, MD, MPH1, James Tesoriero, PhD2, Haven B. Battles, PhD2, and Shu-Yin John Leung, MA2. (1) AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower Building, Room 1483, Albany, NY 12237, (2) Office of Program Evaluation and Research, New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, 150 Broadway, Menands, NY 12204, (518) 402-6814, jmt07@health.state.ny.us

Background. In June 2000, New York began tracking HIV as a reportable condition, explicitly integrating partner notification (PN) reporting requirements into statute. Methods. A 3-year multi-disciplinary study assessed the impact of New York's HIV Reporting and Partner Notification (HIVRPN) law. Results. 6,974 cases of HIV infection were reported between 06/01/2000 and 12/31/2001, with 6,397 partners of new HIV cases reported and 59% of those notified. Analyses of publicly-funded HIV counseling and testing data found no change in testing levels attributable to the HIVRPN law. Focus groups with consumers, providers and PN staff found that initial concern that HIV reporting could drive down testing appeared unwarranted, that there was low awareness of both the law and state-run PN assistance programs, and that the HIVRPN legislation had changed the job functions of PN staff considerably. Results from venue-based surveys of high-risk individuals found varying levels of HIV testing by venue, and little evidence that name-based HIV reporting was affecting testing decisions. Attitudes about PN differed by venue, with MSM expressing the strongest reservations about official PN programs. Finally, a survey of physicians in specialties treating STDs found that, although three-quarters knew that HIV was reportable, just one-quarter knew that domestic violence screening results were reportable, and many wrongly believed that patients must name abusive partners. Conclusions. HIV reporting has permitted improved monitoring of New York's HIV/AIDS epidemic and the ability to better document PN activities. This comprehensive study found no evidence that name-based HIV reporting has negatively impacted HIV testing behavior.

Learning Objectives:

  • After attending this session, participants will be able to

    Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, HIV/AIDS

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    HIV/AIDS Program Planning and Prevention

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA