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Reliability of sexual self-reports in male couples of mixed HIV status.
Carballo-Dieguez A; Remien R; Wagner G; Diamond B; HIV Center for
January 30, 1997
Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):180 (abstract no. Mo.D.1733). Unique

Objective: To establish the reliability of sexual behavior self-reports in a sample of 75 male couples with mixed HIV-status. Methods: First we interviewed couple's members separately and queried them on their sexual behavior with each other during the previous year. Second, we interviewed them together and discussed the differences, if any, in their selfreports. After one week we re-interviewed 27 of the couples. Test-retest reliability analyses were conducted on the 27 individuals, and inter-partner reliability was explored for the whole sample. Results: In terms of test-retest reliability of frequency of performance of specific sexual practices (measured on a five point Likert scale), the weighted Kappas varied from 0.7 (C.I. 0.5-0.9) to .09 (C.I. 0.8-1.0), thus exhibiting consistency over time. Test-retest of number of sexual occasions was also quite reliable (.9 Intra-class correlation). Interpartner correlations for number of sexual occasions was good 7 Inter-class correlation). However, interpartner agreement concerning shared sexual practices was poor, with Kappa values ranging from 0 (C.I. -0.1-0.2) to 0.4 (C.I. 0.2-0.6). Length of relationship was associated with number and magnitude of discrepancies, the shorter the relationship the larger the differences. Most inter-partner discrepancies were due to confusion concerning the long recall period (one year prior to assessment), and lack of recall of infrequent behaviors. Conclusions: These data point out that although individuals may be consistent in their self-reports of sexual behavior, their information may not agree with that of the partners with whom the sexual acts took place. Shortening recall periods and analyzing infrequent behaviors separately may be a way of minimizing unreliability.

*Communication *Homosexuality, Male *Sex Behavior *Sexual Partners