Publications & Reports

The difference in self-reported and biological measured HIV prevalence: Implications for HIV prevention.

Pedrana AE, Hellard ME, Guy R, Wilson K, Stoové M
Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, GPO Box 2284, Melbourne, VIC, 3004, Australia, [email protected]


In Australia, HIV prevalence estimates among gay men have been mainly based on self-reported HIV status collected in annual behavioural surveys.

We measured biological HIV prevalence among gay men in Melbourne, Australia, using a facility based sampling method.

We calculated HIV prevalence and used logistic regression to assess correlates of a positive HIV test.

A total of 639 gay men were recruited completed a survey and provided oral fluid for HIV testing from seven venues in 2008. The median age of the participants was 35 years (range 18-75 years).

Overall biological HIV prevalence was 9.5% (95% CI 7.5-12.0%) compared with 6.3% (95% CI 4.5-8.4%) for self-reported HIV positive status.

We found a significant discrepancy between test detected biological and self-report HIV status in our study, with 19 men (31.1%) unaware of their HIV infection.

These results highlight the importance of repeatable biological estimates to inform and evaluate HIV prevention strategies.


  • Journal: AIDS and Behavior
  • Published: 01/01/2012
  • Volume: 16
  • Issue: 6
  • Pagination: 1454-1463


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