Notification of the sex and needle-sharing partners of individuals with human immunodeficiency virus in rural South Carolina: 30-month experience

Sex Transm Dis. 1991 Oct-Dec;18(4):217-22. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199110000-00004.


The authors conducted a confidential and voluntary partner notification program to identify and educate the sex and needle-sharing partners of individuals with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in a rural health district in South Carolina. During the first 30 months, of 485 named contacts, 290 (60%) were residents of the health district and were contacted and offered testing. Of the 290 contacted, 280 (97%)--53 women and 227 men; age range 14-74 years--accepted counseling and testing and 49 (18%) were HIV-antibody positive. Only 3 of the 49 (6%) had been previously tested. All HIV-infected individuals received appropriate physician, laboratory, and public health referrals. During the study, the mean number of sex partners per 6-month period decreased from 5.6 to 1.1 (80% reduction) for HIV-antibody positive persons and from 4.0 to 2.0 (50% reduction) for HIV-antibody negative persons. The authors conclude that in a rural setting, partner notification of HIV exposure can accurately target education and testing and can produce positive behavior change.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Antibodies / blood
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Health Behavior
  • Homosexuality / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needle Sharing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Sexual Partners*
  • South Carolina / epidemiology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology


  • HIV Antibodies