Clinics missing chance to tell HIV partners they may have virus

Clinics should use gay dating sites and apps like Grindr to tell positive people’s partners to come in for testing, says Britain’s National AIDS Trust

Clinics missing chance to tell HIV partners they may have virus
31 May 2012

Clinics should use gay dating sites and apps to tell HIV positive patients’ partners to come in and get tested.

That’s one of the recommendations from Britain’s National AIDS Trust (NAT) which believes steps like that could help cut the number of people who contract HIV.

The NAT’s new report, out today (31 May), looks at ‘partner notification’ and says that when the previous lovers of someone who has tested positive for HIV are invited to get tested themselves, up to 37% of them were diagnosed positive too.

They believe this method could make big inroads into the 25% of people in Britain who have HIV but don’t know it.

And, as diagnosis and treatment help cut transmission rates, that would cut the number of people getting the virus in the long term.

In some cases clinics contact a patient’s partners directly, in others they help the newly diagnosed people to do it themselves.

But at the moment, policies and implementation are ‘patchy’ says NAT.

It recommends clinics using dating apps like Grindr and websites like Gaydar and Manhunt to help notify people.

And NAT wants the gay community to be told about the benefits of partner notification.

Deborah Jack, NAT’s chief executive, said: ‘HIV is still a highly stigmatized condition and this can make it very difficult for a person diagnosed with HIV to share their status with other people, particularly previous sexual partners.

‘We know how effective HIV partner notification can be in getting people who may be at risk tested and diagnosed but it is not clear that this message is well communicated to patients.

‘Most people with HIV, when they understand the benefits of partner notification, are keen to do the right thing but they might not necessarily know how.

‘This report puts the spotlight on why we need to start taking HIV partner notification seriously, as well as the various ways we can shake up and modernize the current system – in order to utilize it as an effective tool for testing, diagnosis and prevention.’

You can download the report here.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Expedia equal marriage advert sparks gay hate

Travel website's recent campaign backing same-sex marriage sees homophobic backlash on Facebook and YouTube.
No thumbnail available

Welsh gay rights group demands first minister defends equality during trip to Uganda

First Minister Carwyn Jones will spend a week in Uganda to visit projects supported by the Wales for Africa program
No thumbnail available

Police raped us with hammers and electric shocks, say Kyrgyzstan gays

Human Rights Watch have called on the country's government to deal with the 'nightmare' for LGBTI people
No thumbnail available

Armenia editor in court for gay blacklist

His paper called for the 60 listed people to be fired
No thumbnail available

DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor comes in #3 for Time Person of the Year; Pope Francis is #1

'I am just one person who was part of the extraordinary and on-going fight for marriage equality'
No thumbnail available

US Vice President Joe Biden says LGBTI rights trump cultural boundaries

US Vice President has joined White House national security adviser Susan Rice in calling out countries that criminalize LGBTI people - saying human rights must be universal and not trampled over because of culture and tradition
No thumbnail available

'Urine pouring into' gay MP Ben Bradshaw's office

Former Labour minister made headlines when he attacked same-sex marriage earlier this year
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Brandon Routh still laments his gay role in TV sitcom being cut short

One-time Superman hopes all 13 episodes of Partners will be made available for fans
No thumbnail available

Russia will enforce anti-gay propaganda law during 2014 Sochi Games

'If a person does not put across his views in the presence of children, no measures against him can be taken'