Validating a self-report measure of HIV viral suppression: an analysis of linked questionnaire and clinical data from the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study


We assessed the validity of a self-report measure of undetectable viral load (VL) among women with HIV in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Questionnaire data from the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study was linked with population-based clinical data from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Self-reported undetectable VL was assessed by the question: “What was your most recent VL, undetectable (i.e. <50 copies/mL) or detectable (i.e. ≥50 copies/mL)?” Laboratory measurements of VL <50 copies/mL (closest to/before study visit) were the criterion for validity analyses. We measured positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) and likelihood ratios (LR+, LR−). Of 356 participants, 99% were linked to clinical data. Those unlinked (n = 1), missing self-report VL (n = 18), or missing self-report and laboratory VL (n = 1) were excluded. Among the remaining 336: median age was 44 (IQR 37–51); 96% identified as cis-gender; 84% identified as heterosexual; and 45% identified as Indigenous, 40% White, 8% African, Caribbean, or Black, and 8% other/multiple ethnicities. Overall, 85% self-reported having an undetectable VL while 82% had clinical data indicating viral suppression. The PPV was 93.7 (95% CI 90.2–96.2) indicating that 94% of women who self-reported being undetectable truly were. The NPV was 80.4 (95% CI 66.9–90.2). LR+ was 3.2 (2.1–4.6) and LR− was 0.05 (0.03–0.10). Our self-report measure assessing undetectable VL strongly predicted true viral suppression among Canadian women with HIV. This measure can be used in research settings without laboratory data in regions with high rates of VL testing and suppression.

DOI: 10.1186/s13104-017-2453-8

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@inproceedings{Carter2017ValidatingAS, title={Validating a self-report measure of HIV viral suppression: an analysis of linked questionnaire and clinical data from the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study}, author={Allison Carter and Alexandra de Pokomandy and Mona Loutfy and Erin Ding and Paul Sereda and Kath Webster and Valerie J Nicholson and Kerrigan Beaver and Robert S Hogg and Angela Kaida and Aranka Anema and Denise Becker and Lori A Brotto and Claudette Cardinal and Guillaume Colley and Janice Duddy and Nada Gataric and T. R. Howard and Shahab Jabbari and Evin Jones and Mary H Kestler and Andrea Langlois and Viviane D Lima and Elisa Lloyd-Smith and Melissa Medjuck and Cari Miller and Deborah M Money and Gina S Ogilvie and Sophie E Patterson and Neora Pick and Eric A Roth and Kate Salters and Margarite Sanchez and Jacquie Sas and Marcie Summers and Christina Tom and Clara W Wang and Wendy W Zhang and Rahma Abdul-Noor and Jonathan Benjamin Angel and Fatimatou Barry and Greta Bauer and Anita C. Benoit and Breklyn Bertozzi and Sheila Borton and Tammy Bourque and Jason C. Brophy and Ann N. Burchell and Allison Carlson and Lynne Cioppa and Jeffrey Cohen and Tracey Conway and Curtis L. Cooper and Jasmine Cotnam and Janette Cousineau and Marisol Desbiens and Annette Fraleigh and Brenda Gagnier and Claudine Gasingirwa and Saara Greene and Trevor A Hart and Shazia Islam and Charu Kaushic and Logan Kennedy and Desiree Kerr and Maxime Kiboyogo and Gladys Kwaramba and Lynne E Leonard and Johanna Lewis and Carmen H Logie and Shari L. Margolese and Marvelous Muchenje and Mary Ndung’u and Kelly K. O’Brien and Charlene Ouellette and Jeff Earl Powis and Corinna Q uan and Janet M. Raboud and Anita Rochelle Rachlis and Edward D. Ralph and Sean B Rourke and Sergio Rueda and Roger Sandre and Fiona Mary Smaill and Stephanie D Smith and Tsitsi Tigere and Wangari Esther Tharao and Sharon Lynn Walmsley and Wendy L. Wobeser and Jessica K Yee and Mark H. Yudin and Dada Mamvula Bakombo and Jean-Guy Baril and Nora Butler Burke and Pierrette Cl{\'e}ment and Janice Dayle and Dani{\`e}le Dubuc and Myl{\`e}ne Fernet and Danielle Groleau and Aur{\'e}lie Hot and Marina Barbara Klein and Carrie Martin and Lyne Massie and Brigitte M{\'e}nard and Nadia O’Brien and Joanne Otis and Doris Peltier and Alie Pierre and Kar{\`e}ne Proulx-Boucher and Danielle Rouleau and {\'E}d{\'e}nia Savoie and C{\'e}cile Tremblay and Ben{\^o}it Trottier and Sylvie Trottier and Christos M. Tsoukas and Jacqueline C Gahagan and Catherine A. Hankins and Ren{\'e}e Masching and Susanna Ogunnaike-Cooke}, booktitle={BMC Research Notes}, year={2017} }