Self-reported hepatitis B and C virus infections had low sensitivity among HIV-infected patients

Vincent Lo Re, Ian Frank, Robert Gross, Marie Synnestvedt, A. Russell Localio, Jay R. Kostman, Brian L. Strom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the validity of self-reported hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in HIV-infected injection drug users (IDUs) vs. nonIDUs. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed among HIV-infected IDUs and nonIDUs in the Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Database. Self-reported past HBV, HCV, and serostatus were obtained from the CFAR Database. Results: Among 970 subjects (798 nonIDUs; 172 IDUs), there was no difference in sensitivity of self-reported HBV between nonIDUs (27% [95/346]; 95% CI, 23%-32%) and IDUs (26% [31/117]; 95% CI, 19%-35%; P > 0.5), but specificity was greater among nonIDUs (96% [360/374; 95% CI, 94%-98%] vs. 78% [28/36; 95% CI, 61%-90%]; P < 0.001). Sensitivity of self-reported HCV was greater among IDUs (78% [101/130; 95% CI, 70%-85%] vs. 62% [47/76; 95% CI, 50%-73%]; P = 0.02), but there was no difference in specificity (97% [626/643]; 95% CI, 96%-98% for nonIDUs vs. 93% [26/28]; 95% CI, 76%-99%] for IDUs; P = 0.2). Conclusions: The sensitivity of self-reported HBV and HCV compared to actual serostatus are not sufficiently high enough to warrant their use to estimate the prevalence and incidence of these infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-299
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


  • HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV/hepatitis B virus coinfection
  • HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfection
  • Self-report
  • Validity


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