Background: 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.Methods: 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.Results: 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.Conclusion: 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)