Examining concordance between self-report and biomedical HIV viral load data: A scoping review


Assessment of HIV viral load based on laboratory results is the gold standard in HIV care and research. However, blood assay or accessing medical records is not always possible due to research or service contexts and constraints. Self-report of viral load test results expands data resources, is a convenient method of collecting data in both research and service settings, and is useful for HIV surveillance. The purpose of this scoping review was to identify existing literature on the validity of self-reported viral load data compared to blood assay or medical record review. We found that the existing literature is limited, with varied data collection methods, self-report measures, and study designs, as well as predictors of accuracy. Concordance between self-reported viral load and biomedical data varied across studies but appeared to be more consistent among samples recruited from clinical populations that reported engagement in HIV care. While it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the validity of self-reported viral load across existing studies, there is a need for a standardized measure and method of collection that can be utilized across diverse populations living with HIV.


Dorshimer M, Hirshfield S, Mayer J, Aidala AA




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Testing
    • Testing
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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