Send to

Choose Destination
J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2019 Jan-Dec;18:2325958219880582. doi: 10.1177/2325958219880582.

Ethical Challenges of HIV Partner Notification in Prisons.

Author information

Health Systems Science, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA.
Center for HIV Nursing Research, Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia.
Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA.
Health Policy Administration, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA.


Partner services provide a safe and humane way for people living with HIV (PLWH) to alert their sex and/or drug-injecting partners to the possibility of HIV exposure and the need for HIV testing, yet little is known about the ethical challenges of delivering partner services in prisons. In this article, we consider 7 key ethical and methodological questions that should be considered when developing, testing, or implementing partner services in prison settings. These questions relate to the ethics of: (1) mandatory HIV testing, (2) health illiteracy, (3) level of prison staff involvement, (4) protecting confidentiality, (5) minimizing harm, (6) achieving equivalency with community standards of care, and (7) providing HIV prevention and treatment services to index patient and their partners. By assisting PLWH in prison to inform partners with whom they may have shared HIV exposure either before or during incarceration, partner services can help to identify cases of undiagnosed HIV infection for testing and linkage to medical care. The acceptability and effectiveness of a future partner services model for PLWH in prison depends critically on answering these 7 questions to assure the highest ethical standards of research and practice.


HIV prevention; contact tracing; criminal justice; partner notification; people in prison; prison


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center