Background: Identification and characterization of patients in HIV-serodiscordant partnerships can inform strategies to improve HIV prevention efforts for this group.
Methods: We conducted a case-control analysis using New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene HIV surveillance and partner services (PS) data from July 2006 to July 2010. HIV-infected index patients reported and interviewed for PS who named 1 or more sex and/or syringe-sharing partner (n = 1309) and their sex partners notified by New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with confirmed HIV serostatus (n = 1564) were selected for analysis. Index patients were classified into either serodiscordant or seroconcordant-positive partnerships based on the HIV serostatus of their partner(s). Multivariable regression analysis was conducted to examine the likelihood of membership in a serodiscordant partnership by a range of individual- and partnership-level variables.
Results: Of the 1309 index patients, 624 (48%) were in HIV-serodiscordant partnerships. In multivariable analysis, the likelihood of serodiscordant partnership membership was slightly higher among women, individuals with unknown HIV transmission risk, and those with 2 to 3 named partners versus 1. Index patients claimed more partners than they named; for example, index patients who named 1 partner claimed an average of 2.3 partners in the past 12 months.
Conclusions: Many HIV-infected patients who received PS were in HIV-serodiscordant partnerships, with characteristics indicating potential for HIV transmission. Our findings suggest several potential programmatic and policy needs, including enhanced linkage-to-care efforts for this population, especially HIV-infected individuals with uncontrolled viremia; ongoing PS for individuals with evidence of continuing exposure of others; and participation by patients and their serodiscordant, steady partners in local prevention interventions.