High Acceptability of Assisted Partner Notification Services Among HIV-Positive Females in Kenya: Results From an Ongoing Implementation Study

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021 Jan 1;86(1):56-61. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002527.


Background: Assisted partner services (aPS) involves notification and HIV testing for sexual partners of persons diagnosed HIV-positive (index clients). Because the impact of aPS is contingent on high acceptance, we assessed characteristics and reasons for nonenrollment among female index clients in an ongoing scale-up project.

Methods: We analyzed data from HIV-positive females offered aPS in 31 facilities from May 2018 to August 2019. We compared sociodemographic characteristics by aPS enrollment (accepted, refused, and ineligible) and used multivariate binomial regression to assess associations between demographics and refusal.

Results: Twenty-four thousand four hundred eighteen females received HIV testing and 1050 (4.3%) tested HIV-positive; 839 females enrolled in aPS (80%), 59 refused (6%), and 152 were ineligible (14%). APS uptake did not differ by age, testing history, or testing type (provider initiated vs. client initiated). Females refusing aPS were more likely to have completed secondary school [adjusted relative risk (aRR) 2.03, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13 to 2.82] and be divorced/separated (aRR: 3.09, 95% CI: 1.39 to 6.86) or single (aRR: 2.66, 95% CI: 1.31 to 5.42) compared with married/cohabitating. Reasons for refusing aPS included not feeling emotionally ready (31%) and reporting no sexual partners in past 3 years (22%). Reasons for ineligibility included fear or risk of intimate partner violence (9%), previous HIV diagnosis (9%), or insufficient time for aPS provision (3%).

Conclusions: APS has high acceptability among HIV-positive females regardless of age or testing history. More counseling may be needed to increase uptake among females with higher education and those who are separated/single. Follow-up for females not emotionally ready or who had insufficient time for aPS in their clinic visit can improve coverage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Contact Tracing / methods*
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Kenya
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Young Adult