, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 38-57

Naming names: Perceptions of name-based HIV reporting, partner notification, and criminalization of non-disclosure among persons living with HIV

Abstract

Policies of name-based HIV reporting, partner notification (PN), and criminalization of non-disclosure of HIV positive status to sexual partners remain controversial. The views of people living with HIV (PLH) are critical to the success of these three initiatives, but have been understudied. Thus, we interviewed 76 PLH about these policies. Themes arose of potential public health benefits (e.g., epidemiological surveillance and notification of possible exposure) and costs (e.g., deterrence of testing); threats to privacy, civil rights and relationships; government mistrust; and beliefs that prevention is an individual, not governmental responsibility. Misperceptions about the intent, content and scope of these policies, and past experiences of discrimination, shaped these attitudes. To enhance development and implementation of HIV prevention strategies, the views of PLH must be taken into account, and education campaigns need to address misperceptions and mistrust. These data shed light on difficulties in developing and implementing policies that may affect sexual behavior, and have critical implications for future research.