HIV partner notification using voluntary, anonymous
telephone contact in
Presented by Karla Patricia Alonzo (Guatemala).
K.P. Alonzo1, B. Samayoa2, E. Arathoon3, M. Anderson3, B. Palma4, N. Valenzuela4, J. Arvizú5, M.A. Gonzalez4, A.I. Ortiz4, J. Gomez5, M. Linares4, J.C. Fonseca4
1ASI-Clinica Familiar Luis Angel García, Guatemala, Guatemala, 2Asociaciòn de Salud Integral ASI Clinica Familiar Luis Angel García, Investigation, Guatemala, Guatemala, 3Asociaciòn de Salud Integral ASI Clinica Familiar Luis Angel García, Medical, Guatemala, Guatemala, 4ASI-Clinica Familiar Luis Angel García, Psychology, Guatemala, Guatemala, 5Asociaciòn de Salud Integral ASI Clinica Familiar Luis Angel García, Psicología, Guatemala, Guatemala
notification is important for both reducing HIV transmission and bringing
infected individuals into care. While
legally mandated in Guatemala,
there are no national PN programs or protocols.
We examined the feasibility and effectiveness of HIV PN delivered via
telephone. The study site was a national
HIV reference center located in one of Guatemala's two national hospitals.
is routinely discussed with all newly diagnosed patients. From July to October 2009 we offered all
patients at the clinic the possibility of contacting their partners by
telephone and informing them of their exposure to HIV; the name of the index
patient was not revealed. If they
agreed, index patients provided basic demographic information about the partner
including a phone number. Psychologists
from the clinic attempted to call the partners and requested they come to a
private laboratory to discuss “an important personal health matter.” Partners who presented to the laboratory were
informed of their exposure to HIV and offered VCT. If infected they were referred to the clinic
for care. Index patients were asked to return for a follow-up interview.
PN was offered to 1033 individuals (434 women). Reasons for refusal included 1)
partner already knew (389); 2) loss of contact (207); 3) partner was a sex
worker (155). 35 individuals offered the
names of 42 partners. Of these we spoke to 27 by phone. 21 were tested (5 HIV
infected). Index patients were pleased
with the phone service and felt calmed by a sense they had done their duty.
PN via telephone proved feasible even in a resource-limited setting. The yield in terms of partners tested was low
and only five new patients were diagnosed over four months. Phone PN, however, was the only acceptable
method for certain individuals.
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