New research indicates that a New York state law requiring name-based HIV reporting and partner notification has not led to a decline in the willingness of high-risk persons to be tested or to a drop in testing overall.Advertisement
Under the law, which went into effect June 1, 2000, doctors and laboratories are required to report the names of persons with HIV infection, HIV-related illness or AIDS. The reporting of known partners is also mandated, as is screening for intimate partner violence.
"A primary concern with named HIV reporting is that it might deter HIV testing behavior," explained study author Dr. James M. Tesoriero of the state Department of Health's AIDS Institute. "In addition, concern was expressed that the formal integration of HIV partner notification and intimate partner violence screening into New York's law might affect HIV testing behavior."
Tesoriero and colleagues examined the effect of the law by performing in-person interviews with 761 persons at high risk for HIV. The researchers found that "high-risk individuals were generally unaware of New York's HIV reporting law and few cited concern about named reporting as a reason for avoiding or delaying testing." The results showed that levels of HIV testing in the state were not impacted by the law.
"HIV reporting has greatly improved the monitoring of New York's HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Tesoriero, and this study's results show "this benefit has not been offset by decreases in HIV testing, including willingness to test among those at highest risk of acquiring HIV."
The study, "The Effect of Name-Based Reporting and Partner Notification on HIV Testing in New York State
," was published online in the American Journal of Public Health
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