Partner notification for HIV and STD in the United States: low coverage for gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, and HIV

Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Jun;30(6):490-6. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200306000-00004.


Background: Little is known about the scope of current public health partner-notification (PN) activities in the United States.

Goal: The goal of the study was to define what PN services U.S. health departments provide in areas with high STD/HIV-related morbidity.

Study design: The study involved a survey of STD program staff members in U.S. areas with the highest reported rates of infectious syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV in 1998.

Results: Staff members of 60 (77%) of 78 health departments provided data. PN interviews were conducted with 7583 (89%) of 8492 cases of syphilis, 23,097 (17%) of 139,287 cases of gonorrhea, and 26,487 (12%) of 228,210 cases of chlamydia. In areas with mandatory HIV reporting, 4375 (52%) of 8328 persons infected with HIV were interviewed for PN.

Conclusions: Except for patients with syphilis, public health PN services affect only a minority of persons with STD or HIV infection in high-morbidity areas of the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / prevention & control
  • Contact Tracing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Endemic Diseases / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology
  • Gonorrhea / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Public Health Service / standards*