Article

Sexuality Research & Social Policy

, 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

  • Robert KlitzmanAffiliated withHIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric InstituteCenter for Bioethics, Columbia University Email author 
  • , Sheri KirshenbaumAffiliated withHIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • , Lauren KittelAffiliated withHIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • , Stephen MorinAffiliated withCenter for AIDS Prevention Studies, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Shaira DayaAffiliated withHIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • , Maddalena MastrogiacomoAffiliated withHIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • , Mary Jane Rotheram-BorusAffiliated withUniversity of CaliforniaNeuropsychiatric Institute, Center for Community Health

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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.

Key words

ethics risk behavior disclosure