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AIDS Research and Therapy

Gender variation in self-reported likelihood of HIV infection in comparison with HIV test results in rural and urban Nigeria



Behaviour change which is highly influenced by risk perception is a major challenge that HIV prevention efforts need to confront. In this study, we examined the validity of self-reported likelihood of HIV infection among rural and urban reproductive age group Nigerians.


This is a cross-sectional study of a nationally representative sample of Nigerians. We investigated the concordance between self-reported likelihood of HIV and actual results of HIV test. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess whether selected respondents' characteristics affect the validity of self-reports.


The HIV prevalence in the urban population was 3.8% (3.1% among males and 4.6% among females) and 3.5% in the rural areas (3.4% among males and 3.7% among females). Almost all the respondents who claimed they have high chances of being infected with HIV actually tested negative (91.6% in urban and 97.9% in rural areas). In contrast, only 8.5% in urban areas and 2.1% in rural areas, of those who claimed high chances of been HIV infected were actually HIV positive. About 2.9% and 4.3% from urban and rural areas respectively tested positive although they claimed very low chances of HIV infection. Age, gender, education and residence are factors associated with validity of respondents' self-perceived risk of HIV infection.


Self-perceived HIV risk is poorly sensitive and moderately specific in the prediction of HIV status. There are differences in the validity of self-perceived risk of HIV across rural and urban populations.


Urban; rural; sero-positive; HIV/AIDS; validity; behaviour change; Nigeria

*Corresponding author: Adeniyi F Fagbamigbe


© 2011 Fagbamigbe et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Information in this article was accurate in December 21, 2011. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.