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What are the provider's responsibilities for notifying partners of HIV-infected individuals?
New York State Public Health Law Article 21 (Chapter 163 of the Laws of 1998) requires that providers talk with HIV-infected individuals about their options for informing sexual and needle-sharing partners that they may have exposed to HIV. The Contact Notification Assistance Program (CNAP) of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides assistance to HIV-positive individuals and to providers who would like help notifying partners.
What are the provider's responsibilities for reporting partners of HIV-infected individuals?
The following partner/contact information should be reported on the Medical Provider Report Form (PRF), Section III
- The names of all sexual and needle-sharing partners known to the provider, including spouses, and the names of any partners the patient wishes to have notified.
- For each reported partner, plans for partner notification and the results of domestic violence screening.
What is domestic violence screening?
The New York State Department of Health has a domestic violence screening protocol to identify cases where partner notification could lead to physical harm or threaten the health and safety of an adult or child related to the partner. The potential for domestic violence must be discussed and recorded on the Medical Provider Report Form (PRF) for each partner who needs to be notified. For assistance with domestic violence screening refer to:
City Health Information Bulletin (CHI) article "HIV/AIDS Reporting and Partner Notification"
HIV/AIDS Laws and Regulations," Domestic Violence".
What assistance is available for partner notification?
One important strategy for breaking the chain of HIV transmission is Partner Counseling and Referral Services (PCRS), also referred to as Partner Notification. Providers should tell patients that there are several options available for partner notification. Providers or HIV-infected individuals can carry out any of these options independently or with assistance from the Contact Notification Assistance Program (CNAP) of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Providers can contact CNAP directly or refer patients for assistance by calling 212 693-1419. Partner notification options are:
- Provider Referral- With consent of the HIV-infected individual, the provider confidentially notifies partners of possible exposure to HIV.
- Self-Referral- An HIV-infected individual informs partners of possible exposure. Providers can coach patients on how to carry out notification safely and effectively.
- Contract Referral- The provider negotiates a time frame for the patient to notify partners of possible exposure to HIV. If the patient is unable to notify within the allotted time period, the provider may notify partners directly or ask CNAP to do so.
For further details about PCRS/CNAP services in New York City please check City Health Information, (CHI) "HIV/AIDS Reporting and Partner Notification"
For more information on provider legal responsibilities click on HIV/AIDS Laws and Regulations, HIV Reporting/Partner Notification Questions and Answers.