BACKGROUND - The relationship between HIV knowledge and HIV-related behaviors in settings like Mozambique has been limited by a lack of rigorously validated measures.
METHODS - A convenience sample of women seeking prenatal care at two clinics were administered an adapted, orally-administered, 27 item HIV-knowledge scale, the HK-27. Validation analyses were stratified by survey language (Portuguese and Echuabo). Kuder-Richardson (KR-20) coefficients estimated internal reliability. Construct validity was assessed with bivariate associations between HK-27 scores (% correct) and selected participant characteristics. The association between knowledge, self-reported HIV testing, and HIV infection were evaluated with multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS - Participants (N = 348) had a median age of 24; 188 spoke Portuguese, and 160 spoke Echuabo. Mean HK-27 scores were higher for Portuguese-speaking participants than Echuabo-speaking participants (68% correct vs. 42%, p<0.001). Internal reliability was strong (KR-20>0.8) for scales in both languages. Higher HK-27 scores were significantly (p≤0.05) correlated with more education, more media items in the home, a history of HIV testing, and participant work outside of the home for women of both languages. HK-27 scores were independently associated with completion of HIV testing in multivariable analysis (per 1% correct: aOR:1.02, 95%CI:0.01-0.03, p = 0.01), but not with HIV infection.
CONCLUSIONS - HK-27 is a reliable and valid measure of HIV knowledge among Portuguese and Echuabo-speaking Mozambican women. The HK-27 demonstrated significant knowledge deficits among women in the study, and higher scores were associated with higher HIV testing probability. Future studies should evaluate the role of the HK-27 in longitudinal studies and in other populations.