New York’s HIV/AIDS Names-Based Reporting, Partner Notification Law Has Not Led to Decline in Testing, Study Says
New York's name-based HIV reporting and partner notification law has not led to a decline in HIV testing or the willingness of high-risk groups to be tested, according to a study published online Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, Reuters Health reports. The law, which went into effect in June 2000, requires physicians and laboratories to report the names of people living with HIV/AIDS and people with HIV-related illnesses. The reporting of known partners, as well as screening for intimate partner violence, also is required under the law, Reuters Health reports.
For the study, James Tesoriero of New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute and colleagues examined the effect of the law on HIV testing levels and testing decisions by conducting in-person interviews with 761 high-risk individuals. "A primary concern with named HIV reporting is that it might deter HIV testing behavior," Tesoriero said, adding, "In addition, concern was expressed that the formal integration of HIV partner notification and intimate partner violence screening into New York's law might affect HIV testing behavior."
The study found that the law did not impact levels of HIV testing in the state. Tesoriero said, "High-risk individuals were generally unaware of New York's HIV reporting law, and few cited concerns about named reporting as a reason for avoiding or delaying testing." He said that HIV reporting "has greatly improved the monitoring of New York's HIV/AIDS epidemic," adding that based on the current research, "this benefit has not been offset by decreases in HIV testing, including willingness to test among those at highest risk of acquiring HIV" (Rauscher, Reuters Health, 2/28).
An abstract of the study is available online.