HIV partner notification can help patients, partners, and disease control efforts in the community. The emphasis on HIV partner notification has varied widely in the United States. Stigma, denial, and competing priorities have limited the use of partner notification in many areas. Ongoing HIV transmission after the infection is diagnosed suggests a need for ongoing partner notification, but there is little evidence that this is occurring. The forces driving the evolution of partner notification for HIV are quite different from those acting on contact tracing for TB. Understanding these forces will help predict where partner notification is headed and may help make it more effective. In this paper we review partner notification for HIV, discuss effectiveness, and outline changes over time. A comparison with contact tracing for TB leads us to conclude that partner notification for HIV is very different from contact tracing for TB.