Background: New Centers for Disease Control recommendations suggest that all persons with newly diagnosed HIV receive partner counseling and referral services (PCRS).
Methods: We evaluated the King County, WA, PCRS program using a new set of disposition codes that disaggregate the components of PCRS (notification, testing, and test results), distinguish verified and unverified outcomes, and differentiate outcomes that occur before and after cases receive PCRS.
Results: Between 2005 and 2007, 427 (65%) of 659 persons with newly diagnosed HIV received PCRS. The number of cases staff needed to interview to identify 1 new case of HIV varied from 12.2 to 47.4 depending on whether number needed to interview was defined to include both verified and unverified outcomes and whether it excluded partners diagnosed with HIV before cases’ receipt of PCRS. Age <25, testing HIV negative within the last year, receipt of PCRS within 58 days of HIV diagnoses, and participation in a program to link persons with HIV to medical care were significantly associated notifying more partners.
Conclusions: PCRS evaluations may overestimate success because of limitations inherent in Centers for Disease Control PCRS disposition codes. Efforts to promote frequent HIV testing, assure timely provision of PCRS, and integrate PCRS with programs that link patients to care may improve PCRS outcomes.