The outreach-assisted model of partner notification with IDUs.
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The outreach-assisted model of partner notification with IDUs.

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      This analysis describes the Outreach-Assisted Model of Partner Notification, an innovative strategy for encouraging seropositive injecting drug users (IDUs) to inform their partners of shared human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) exposure. The analysis focuses on two core components of the notification process: the identification of at-risk partners and preferences for self-tell vs. outreach assistance in informing partners of possible exposure to the virus.|Using community outreach techniques, 386 IDUs were recruited for HIV pretest counseling, testing, and partner notification over a 12-month period. Of these, 63 tested HIV seropositive, and all but three returned for their test results. The 60 who were informed of their serostatus were randomly assigned to either a minimal or an enhanced intervention condition. Participants assigned to the minimal (self-tell) group were strongly encouraged to inform their partners of possible exposure. Those assigned to the enhanced (outreach-assisted) group had the option of either informing one or more of their partner(s) themselves or choosing to have the project's outreach team do so.|Together, the 60 index persons who received their results provided names or at least one piece of locating information for a total of 142 partners with whom they perceived having shared possible exposure to the virus within the past five years. By itself, drug use accounted for half of all partners named. Sexual behavior alone accounted for 25% of named partners. Eighty-two percent of the enhanced group preferred to have the outreach team tell at least one partner; the team was requested to notify 71% of the total number of partners whom this group named.|Findings suggest that IDUs want to notify their partners of shared HIV exposure. Outreach assistance was the preferred mode in the majority of cases. Expanding traditional community-based HIV outreach activities to include delivering street-based counseling, test, a partner notification appears to be a positive and workable prevention strategy.
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