Partner notification has emerged as an important strategy in the fight against acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and states have now adopted a plethora of laws that encourage or mandate notification, often without the patient's consent. As human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to spread among women, the future development of AIDS control strategies and public health laws must be shaped by concern for the safety and autonomy of patients who face a risk of domestic violence. Three distinct recommendations flow from this premise. First, all HIV-infected women should be assessed for the risk of domestic violence and offered appropriate interventions. Second, where a risk of abuse is indicated, partners should never be notified without the patient's consent. State laws that presently permit involuntary notification should be repealed or amended. Third, laws that punish a patient's refusal to notify partners should also be modified or repealed.