The acceptability of a computer HIV/AIDS risk assessment to not-in-treatment drug users

M. L. Williams, R. C. Freeman, A. M. Bowen, L. Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a study assessing the acceptability of a computer HIV risk assessment instrument administered to not-in-treatment drug users. The study asked three questions related to acceptability: (1) are drug users comfortable responding to HIV risk questions using the computer assessment; (2) do drug users feel that they possess the requisite skill to respond to questions using a computer; and (3) do drug users believe that the responses they provide using the computer assessment will remain private and confidential. This study differs from other assessments to the acceptability of computer assisted data collection in that the population of interest has only limited education and interaction with computers. Furthermore, the study was implemented under field conditions. To conduct the study, an existing HIV risk assessment instrument was adapted for use with the computer. Only slight modifications were made to the content of the instrument. To facilitate data collection with this population, audio enhancement and touch screen were used. Three scales measuring comfort, skill and perceived privacy were developed. Results of analysis showed that drug users are comforatble responding to an HIV risk assessment using computer assisted interviewing. Drug users also perceived that they possessed the requisite skill to successfully complete the interview. And, study participants reported that they believed that their responses using the computer interview would remain private and confidential. Only minor differences in scale scores based on sociodemographic characteristics were found among study participants. Implications of the finding are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-711
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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