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December 9, 1988

Contact Tracing to Control the Spread of HIV-Reply

Author Affiliations

San Francisco Department of Public Health

San Francisco Department of Public Health

JAMA. 1988;260(22):3275. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410220058016

In Reply.—  We appreciate Drs Vernon and Hoffman's interest in our editorial and support use of the term partner notification, as proposed by the Centers for Disease Control,1 for the spectrum of activities in which sexual partners of persons with sexually transmitted diseases are notified and counseled about their exposure. In this new nomenclature, contact tracing is referred to as "provider referral" and subsumes activities in which partners of infected patients are notified by health department staff.1 To avoid confusion, we will use the term contact tracing.The question regarding partner notification as a disease control strategy for HIV infection is not whether HIV-infected individuals should notify their sexual partners of their exposure and refer them for evaluation. On this we all agree. Rather the question is what should the relative role of contact tracing be in a comprehensive HIV control program and what proportion of prevention and education