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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2003 Dec 5;52(48):1181-4.

Partner counseling and referral services to identify persons with undiagnosed HIV--North Carolina, 2001.


Approximately one fourth of the 850,000-950,000 persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States are not aware of their infection and their risk for transmitting HIV. Identifying HIV-infected persons promptly after infection and directing them to medical care and prevention services is a national priority. Voluntary partner counseling and referral services (PCRS) help HIV-infected persons notify sex and needle-sharing partners of their need for HIV testing, enabling partners to receive early care and prevention counseling. To evaluate the success of these services in North Carolina, CDC analyzed PCRS data collected in 2001 by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which determined that 125 (20.5%) of 610 tested partners of HIV index patients had HIV infections that were undiagnosed previously. These findings suggest that local and state health departments should consider PCRS an essential component of any comprehensive HIV-prevention program.

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