Objectives: Notifying the sexual partner of a HIV-seropositive patient enables that partner to be aware of their HIV status, gain early access to treatment, reduce risky sexual behaviors, and prevent the transmission of HIV. The purpose of this study was to understand the decisionmaking process in the notification of the sexual partners of people living with HIV.
Methods: Grounded theory was utilized to build the theoretical framework for the process of sexual partner notification. Theoretical sampling was applied to recruit 13 participants who had risky sexual behaviors before and after the diagnosis of HIV. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant and data were analyzed using the constant comparative method by ATLAS.ti 5.0.
Results: Awareness of the importance of informing the partner was the first step in the decision-making process. "Intent-to-notify" was assessed according to individuals, couples and the stigma of AIDS in the context of the relationship. Information strategies were then developed to include the recipient/the partner to be informed, information methods, content, time and assistance needs. After the actual partners were notified, individuals with HIV re-evaluated their intent or strategies to notify according to the consequences of their experiences with partner notification.
Conclusions: Characteristics of the partner and HIV-related stigma were two key issues that influenced the decision-making process of partner notification. Health professionals can assist patients in developing strategies to inform partners in accordance with their individual needs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health