Social Desirability Bias and Prevalence of Sexual HIV Risk Behaviors Among People Who Use Drugs in Baltimore, Maryland: Implications for Identifying Individuals Prone to Underreporting Sexual Risk Behaviors

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Abstract

The role of social desirability bias (SDB) in self-reported HIV risk behaviors continues to be problematic. This study examined whether SDB was associated with self-reported, via audio computer assisted self-interviewing, sexual risk behaviors among people who use drugs. The present study was conducted among 559 participants who reported having a recent sexual partner at their 6-month visit of a longitudinal study. Robust Poisson regression was used to model the association between SDB and five risk behaviors. Analyses were stratified by gender and partner type. Higher scores of SDB were associated with decreased reporting of selling sex and having more than one sexual partner. Higher SDB scores were associated with increased reporting of always using condoms during oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Gender-specific differences were observed. The inclusion of a measure of SDB in data collection, along with other strategies, can be used to both identify and reduce self-report biases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2207-2214
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and behavior
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Sex exchange
  • Sexual risk
  • Social desirability
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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