Promoting HIV Partner Notification Services Using a People-Centered Approach

Crowdsourcing and other approaches may develop more effective interventions to promote PS.

Despite public health efforts in recent years to reach key populations, the rate of HIV infections in men who have sex with men (MSM) has been rising in China. Experts believe that the limited usage and acceptability of partner notification services (PS) could be one reason why this is happening.

However, a more people-centered approach, such as crowdsourcing, could be a promising way to develop effective intervention packages to promote PS.

Recently, investigators from the UNC Project-China in Guangzhou and London conducted a study which explored this approach.

The data was presented at the 11th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science.

For the study, the team of investigators employed a mixed methods approach to develop PS intervention strategies and to analyze emerging themes of facilitators or barriers.

The team used a community-based participatory approach to organize a crowdsourcing contest that solicited innovative works for promoting PS among MSM in China. They then used a descriptive analysis to examine participants demographic characteristics, as well as a content analysis to identify facilitators and barriers of PS.

The study included 77 participants from 31 cities who submitted a total of 92 submissions. Of those who participated, 53 were eligible.

Findings from the study demonstrated that 60% of the participants were male, with more than have identifying as homosexual or bisexual, and 11% identified as having HIV. Novel strategies that were identified to facilitate PS by the content analysis included differentiation of care and stepwise notification.

Additionally, themes that emerged emphasized index education, self-empowerment and the need for safe and supportive disclosure services.

“The contest engaged a diverse population of participants to contribute to the development of people-centered PS for MSM living with HIV in China,” the authors wrote. “Differentiation of care and stepwise notification could be valuable for the nest-step design of a more comprehensive, integrated intervention package. The emphasis on people-centered PS is also insightful for HIV-related policy design in China.”