November 4, 2009
The researchers assessed the costs and effectiveness of partner counseling and referral services (PCRS) with rapid HIV testing in Colorado and Louisiana between April 2004 and January 2006. In Colorado, PCRS is provided to index patients and partners statewide. In Louisiana, PCRS is provided to those in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The authors obtained program costs for personnel, travel, utilities, supplies, equipment, and facility space. Key effectiveness measures were the number of partners tested and the number of partners informed of a new HIV diagnosis after rapid testing.
Colorado's efforts identified a yearly average of 328 index patients and 253 partners; 43 partners underwent testing. Louisiana identified an annual average of 81 index patients and 138 partners; 83 partners underwent testing. Among partners tested, the rate of those previously undiagnosed was 6.6 percent in Colorado and 9.9 percent in Louisiana. The average costs per partner tested and per partner informed of a new HIV diagnosis were $1,459 and $22,243 in Colorado; the costs in Louisiana were $714 and $7,231.
"Program costs varied by location," the authors concluded. "Our analysis helps program managers and health care providers to understand the resources needed for implementing the PCRS in diverse settings."
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
10.2009; Vol. 36; No. 10: P. 637-641; Ram K. Shrestha, Elin B. Begley, Angela B. Hutchinson, Stephanie L. Sansom, Binwei Song, Kelly Voorhees, Amy Busby, Jack Carrel, Samuel Burgess