Brewer, D. D. (2003). Interviewing practices in partner notification for STD and HIV. Unpublished report prepared for the National Centers for HIV, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Tuberculosis Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Full report available at SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2097910.
Partner notification, or contact tracing, has long been a cornerstone of efforts to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV. The partner notification process involves persons diagnosed with disease informing sexual partners (and drug injection partners, in the case of HIV) about their exposure to infection and the need for medical examination and treatment. Often this process begins when a public health worker counsels a patient about partner notification and elicits his or her partners who may have been exposed to the infection. Then the patient or public health worker attempts to notify partners and ensure their medical evaluation and treatment. Effective partner notification depends on complete and accurate data on partners. In this report, I review interviewing practices that relate to applied aspects of partner notification and make recommendations for disease control practice and research. I focus on seven areas of partner notification interviewing practice: interview context, interviewing modes, reinterviewing, interview periods, elicitation techniques, interviewer effects, and the reliability and validity of reported partner information.