Background The aim of partner notification (PN) in HIV is to diagnose the undiagnosed and reduce the risk of onward transmission. Plymouth is thought to be a low HIV prevalence area and as such routine testing across medical settings is unlikely to be cost effective or practical. As part of our attempts to target testing, we have concentrated and improved our HIV contact tracing. We describe how the recent infection testing algorithm (RITA) has allowed us to focus PN and identifies individuals early in infection (infectious, high behavioural risk, untested) therefore reducing onward transmission.
Aim To describe the number of recent infections diagnosed in Plymouth using PN.
Methods RITA is performed in all newly diagnosed patients. This information is taken into account during PN. A retrospective review of all RITA results done in 2011 and how this has contributed to PN in Plymouth GUM is described.
Results Of the 20 new HIV diagnoses made in Plymouth, 7 (35%) were incident infections and six were diagnosed as a direct result of PN. Of those with prevalent infection (n=12), 5 were diagnosed as a direct result of PN.
Conclusions In low prevalence areas targeted testing will yield the greatest number of positive individuals per test. Along with other targeting strategies, PN in those newly diagnosed is a way of reaching an at risk group within this setting. It is important to prioritise HIV PN through a dedicated Health Advising team.