The Role of HIV Partner Services in the Modern Biomedical HIV Prevention Era: A Network Modeling Study

Samuel M. Jenness, Adrien Le Guillou, Cynthia Lyles, Kyle T. Bernstein, Kathryn Krupinsky, Eva A. Enns, Patrick S. Sullivan, Kevin P. Delaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background HIV partner services can accelerate the use of antiretroviral-based HIV prevention tools (antiretroviral therapy [ART] and preexposure prophylaxis [PrEP]), but its population impact on long-term HIV incidence reduction is challenging to quantify with traditional partner services metrics of partner identified or HIV screened. Understanding the role of partner services within the portfolio of HIV prevention interventions, including using it to efficiently deliver antiretrovirals, is needed to achieve HIV prevention targets. Methods We used a stochastic network model of HIV/sexually transmitted infection transmission for men who have sex with men, calibrated to surveillance-based estimates in the Atlanta area, a jurisdiction with high HIV burden and suboptimal partner services uptake. Model scenarios varied successful delivery of partner services cascade steps (newly diagnosed "index"patient and partner identification, partner HIV screening, and linkage or reengagement of partners in PrEP or ART care) individually and jointly. Results At current levels observed in Atlanta, removal of HIV partner services had minimal impact on 10-year cumulative HIV incidence, as did improving a single partner services step while holding the others constant. These changes did not sufficiently impact overall PrEP or ART coverage to reduce HIV transmission. If all index patients and partners were identified, maximizing partner HIV screening, partner PrEP provision, partner ART linkage, and partner ART reengagement would avert 6%, 11%, 5%, and 18% of infections, respectively. Realistic improvements in partner identification and service delivery were estimated to avert 2% to 8% of infections, depending on the combination of improvements. Conclusions Achieving optimal HIV prevention with partner services depends on pairing improvements in index patient and partner identification with maximal delivery of HIV screening, ART, and PrEP to partners if indicated. Improving the identification steps without improvement to antiretroviral service delivery steps, or vice versa, is projected to result in negligible population HIV prevention benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-807
Number of pages7
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention Epidemiologic and Economic Modeling Agreement NU38 PS004650, and National Institutes of Health grants R21 MH112449 and R01 AI138783.

Publisher Copyright:
© Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


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