Acceptance and Feasibility of Partner Notification to HIV Infected Individuals in Guinea-Bissau
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As partner notification (PN) has shown effective in increasing the number of partners of HIV infected patients being tested we aimed to evaluate the feasibility of implementing PN in the West-African country Guinea-Bissau. Patients enrolled were offered the choice of three different PN methods. Acceptance, successful referrals and HIV status of partners were evaluated. Of 697 patients offered PN, 495 (71.0%) accepted and listed 547 partners. At end of follow-up 118 (21.5%) partners had been tested of which 44 (37.3%) were HIV infected. HIV infected partners had a higher median CD4 count at diagnosis compared with index patients; 401 cells/mm3 versus 240 cells/mm3, p < 0.001. The results indicate that implementation of PN is feasible, effective in identifying HIV infected partners and enables initiation of earlier treatment, yet there are major barriers to bringing partners in for testing which should be addressed in order to exploit the full potential of PN.
KeywordsPartner notification Contact tracing HIV Sub-Saharan Africa Guinea-Bissau
The authors are grateful to the staff working at the CTA HNSM, especially the psychologists Juelma, Anilde and Victoriana who put a lot of work and effort into locating partners. We would also like to thank the office staff at the Bandim Health Project without whom this study would not have been possible. A special thanks to UNICEF in Guinea-Bissau for their cooperation and support throughout the period of the study. The Bissau HIV cohort study group comprises: Amabelia Rodrigues, David da Silva Té, Zacarias da Silva, Candida Medina, Ines Oliviera-Souto, Lars Østergaard, Alex Lund Laursen, Peter Aaby, Anders Fomsgaard, Christian Erikstrup, Bo Langhoff Hønge, Christian Wejse and Sanne Jespersen (chair).
This study was funded by UNICEF Guinea-Bissau, The Independent Research Fund Denmark (scholarship for TM), Kong Christian X’s Fond, Fonden til Lægevidenskabens Fremme and Agnethe Løvgreens Legat.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no competing interest to declare.
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