Will two studies in January’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases fuel fans of HIV partner-notification (PN)? In Colorado, whose 1986 PN law is among the first, state health officials found that couples in which A was notified that B had HIV were no likelier to break up than couples in an all-neggie control group. And a New Orleans study found that PN for HIV didn’t split up more sweeties (or spark more domestic violence) than did PN for syphilis, which is curable. Colorado researcher Nancy Spencer called her study’s results heartening: “People need the continued support of lovers, family and friends at this time.” But the findings are unlikely to sway PN-law opponents who claim that HIVers also need the continued protection of their civil liberties. Neither study asked if notified partners went for their own HIV test, but couples were compensated with $15 food coupons. Hey, some news can bring on the munchies.
May 1, 2003 • By Greg Lugliani