AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 790–800 | Cite as

Effect of Computer-Assisted Interviewing on Self-Reported Sexual Behavior Data in a Microbicide Clinical Trial

  • Pamina M. GorbachEmail author
  • Barbara S. Mensch
  • Marla Husnik
  • Astou Coly
  • Benoit Mâsse
  • Bonus Makanani
  • Chiwawa Nkhoma
  • Lameck Chinula
  • Tchangani Tembo
  • Stan Mierzwa
  • Kimberly Reynolds
  • Stacey Hurst
  • Anne Coletti
  • Andrew Forsyth
Original Paper


In a microbicide safety and effectiveness trial (HPTN 035) in Malawi, 585 women completed the same questionnaire through a face-to-face interview (FTFI) and an audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI). Concordance between FTFI and ACASI responses ranged from 72.0 % for frequency of sex in the past week to 95.2 % for anal intercourse (AI) in the past 3 months. Reported gel and condom use at last sex act were marginally lower with ACASI than FTFI (73.5 % vs. 77.2 %, p = 0.11 and 60.9 % vs. 65.5 %, p = 0.05, respectively). More women reported AI with ACASI than FTFI (5.0 % vs. 0.2 %, p < 0.001). Analyses of consistency of responses within ACASI revealed that 15.0 % of participants in the condom-only arm and 28.7 % in the gel arm provided at least one discrepant answer regarding total sex acts and sex acts where condom and gel were used (19.2 % reported one inconsistent answer, 8.1 % reported two inconsistent answers, and 1.4 % reported three inconsistent answers). While ACASI may provide more accurate assessments of sensitive behaviors in HIV prevention trials, it also results in a high level of internally inconsistent responses.


ACASI interviewing Microbicides Sexual behavior reporting 



HPTN 035 was funded by the United States National Institutes of Health. The study was designed and implemented by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN). The HPTN (U01AI046749) has been funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The MTN (U01AI068633) has been funded by the NIAID, NICHD, and NIMH. ReProtect, Inc., and Endo Pharmaceuticals (formerly Indevus Pharmaceuticals Inc.) supplied the BufferGel and PRO 2000 Gel tested in this study free of charge. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the manufacturing of BufferGel for this study. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamina M. Gorbach
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barbara S. Mensch
    • 2
  • Marla Husnik
    • 3
  • Astou Coly
    • 1
  • Benoit Mâsse
    • 3
    • 8
  • Bonus Makanani
    • 4
  • Chiwawa Nkhoma
    • 4
  • Lameck Chinula
    • 5
  • Tchangani Tembo
    • 5
  • Stan Mierzwa
    • 2
  • Kimberly Reynolds
    • 5
  • Stacey Hurst
    • 4
  • Anne Coletti
    • 6
  • Andrew Forsyth
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Population CouncilNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  4. 4.College of Medicine-Johns Hopkins University Research Project, Queen Elizabeth Central HospitalBlantyreMalawi
  5. 5.UNC Project, Tidziwe CentreKamuzu Central HospitalLilongweMalawi
  6. 6.Family Health InternationalMedfordUSA
  7. 7.National Institute of Mental Health, NIHBethesdaUSA
  8. 8.CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, Université de MontréalMontréalCanada

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