The intimate nature of sexuality makes it challenging to measure sexual behavior accurately. Researchers did this study examined agreement between couples in heterosexual HIV serodiscordant partnership on survey questions regarding condom use and sexual decision-making to assess response reliability.

This analysis comes from baseline data from a cohort study of HIV serodiscordant 409 couples. Researchers examined the degree of agreement between partners on standard measures of sexual behavior.

The male partner’s median age was 41 years, and the female partner was 35 years. Among 58.2% of the pair, the male was the HIV-positive partner. Questions with high or substantial couple agreement included condom use at last sex and frequency of condom use. Problems with low or fair couple agreement included decision-making regarding condom use, wanting more biological children, and deciding when to have sex.

Survey questions assessing condom use had the highest level of couple agreement, and questions regarding sexual decision-making and fertility desire had low couple agreement. Problems with the high agreement have increased reliability and reduced measurement bias; however, questions with the low agreement between couples identify critical areas for further investigation.