Next-generation methods for HIV partner services: A systematic review


Partner notification is a widely accepted method whose intent is to limit onward HIV transmission. With increasing use of new technologies such as text messaging, e-mail, and social network sites, there is growing interest in using these techniques for “next-generation” HIV partner services (PS). We conducted a systematic review to assess the use and effectiveness of these technologies in HIV PS. Our literature search resulted in 1343 citations, with 7 meeting inclusion criteria. We found programs in 2 domains: (1) Public Health Department usage of new technologies to augment traditional partner notification (n = 3) and (2) patient or provider-led usage of partner notification Web sites (n = 4) The health department-based efforts showed an ability to find new cases in a previously unreachable population but in the limited comparisons to traditional PS had a lower rate of successful contact. Usage data from the partner notification Web sites revealed a high total number of e-notifications sent, with less than 10% of cards sent for HIV. Clear evidence on outcomes and directly traceable utilization for these Web services was lacking. When given a choice, most clients chose to send e-notifications via text versus e-mail. Although successful notification may be lower overall, use of next-generation services provides an avenue to contact those who would previously have been untraceable. Additional research is needed to determine to what extent technology-enhanced PS improves the identification of newly infected persons as well as the initiation of new prevention interventions for HIV-negative clients within high-risk networks.


Hochberg CH, Berringer K, Schneider JA.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention
    • Education/media campaigns


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