Partner Referral by HIV-Infected Persons to Partner Counseling and Referral Services (PCRS) - Results from a Demonstration Project

Binwei Song 1, Elin B Begley*, 2, Linda Lesondak 3, Kelly Voorhees 4, Magdalena Esquivel 5, Ronald L Merrick 5, Jack Carrel 6, Douglas Sebesta 7, James Vergeront 8, Dhana Shrestha 8, Emeka Oraka 1, Annisa Walker 9, James D Heffelfinger 2
1 Northrop Grumman, Atlanta, GA, USA
2 Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
3 Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL, USA
4 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO, USA
5 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA
6 Louisiana Office of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, USA
7 San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA, USA
8 Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
9 Business Computer Applications, Atlanta, GA, USA

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© Song et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, MS E-46, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA; Tel: 404.639.5175; Fax: 404.639.0929; E-mails:,



The objectives of this article are to determine factors associated with refusal and agreement to provide partner information, and evaluate the effectiveness of referral approaches in offering PCRS.


Index clients from 5 sites that used 3 different PCRS approaches were interviewed to obtain demographic and risk characteristics and choice of partner referral method for PCRS. Logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with providing partner information.


The percentage of index clients who refused to provide partner information varied by site (7% to 88%). Controlling for PCRS approach, index clients who were older than 25 years, male, or reported having male-male sex in the past 12 months were more likely (p <0.01) to refuse to provide partner information. Overall, 72% of named partners referred by index clients were located and offered PCRS. The proportion of partners who were located and offered PCRS differed by referral approach used, ranging from 38% using contract referral (index clients agree to notify their partners within a certain timeframe, else a disease intervention specialist or health care provider will notify them) to 98% using dual referral (index clients notify their partners with a disease intervention specialist or provider present).


Success in obtaining partner information varied by the PCRS approach used and effectiveness in locating and notifying partners varied by the referral approach selected. These results provide valuable insights for enhancing partner services.

Keywords: HIV, index clients, partners, partner counseling and referral services, risk behaviors, referral..