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December 9, 1988

Contact Tracing to Control the Spread of HIV-Reply

Author Affiliations

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Columbia

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Columbia

JAMA. 1988;260(22):3274-3275. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410220058015

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In Reply. —  We appreciate the supportive words of Drs Vernon and Hoffman. Their experience in Colorado stands as a model for public health units nationwide to follow in developing programs of HIV contact tracing and partner notification.We share with them some concerns about the comments and tone of the editorial by Drs Rutherford and Woo. In addition to the several issues discussed by Drs Vernon and Hoffman, we were especially surprised that the editorial seemed to dismiss HIV contact tracing/ partner notification as a tool of limited utility, only applicable in occasional situations and scattered geographic areas.This pessimistic view of contact tracing/partner notification in HIV control is not new. Actual data, however, now collected in various states, suggest that this public health approach has usefulness that extends much beyond the narrow limits predicted by the editorial. In view of such data, we believe that public health professionals