Self-report is a valid measure of circumcision status in homosexual men

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Objective: Misreporting of circumcision status may affect observed relationships between circumcision status and HIV or other sexually transmissible infections. As no data exist on the validity of self-reported circumcision status among homosexual men, we investigated the agreement between self-report and examination findings in a subgroup of participants in the Health in Men (HIM) study in Sydney, Australia. Methods: A subgroup of 240 participants in the community based HIM cohort study attending annual interview agreed to a brief genital examination by a trained study nurse who was unaware of their previous self-reported circumcision status. Results: Five participants reported being uncircumcised at baseline but were classified as circumcised on examination. All participants who self-reported being circumcised were found on examination to be circumcised. Three cases in which the examining study nurse was unsure of participants` circumcision status were excluded. Of the remaining 237 participants, 155 (65.4%) were classified as circumcised on examination, including five men who self identified as uncircumcised. Compared with examination, self-reported circumcision status resulted in a sensitivity of 96.8%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value of 100% and negative predictive value of 94.3%. The overall agreement between circumcision status on examination and self-report was 97.9% (k score, 0.95; p<0.001) Conclusion: Self-report was a valid measure of circumcision status in this group of predominantly Anglo gay-community-attached men. We believe our findings can be generalised to similarly aged gay-community-attached men in other developed countries.
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Templeton, David
Mao, Limin
Prestage, Garrett
Jin, Feng Yi
Kaldor, John
Grulich, Andrew
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