Survey Instruments and Scales

The following surveys and scales have been designed and tested by CAPS scientists and are made available free of charge for use by HIV researchers, evaluators, prevention program planners, and designers. Warning: Survey needs vary from population to population and project to project. Please consider carefully the needs of your particular intervention before using one of these instruments. We encourage researchers and service providers to use these instruments, adapting and modifying as you see fit. ***Please cite CAPS as the source in any presented or published work; if the instruments were modified in any way from their original (as downloaded from the CAPS website), please note that in any presentations.  

Survey Instruments

1. Condom Use among Hispanics


Scoring: Please read the detailed description of the instruments. Reliability and/or validity:Condom use among Hispanic men with secondary female sexual partners” by Barbara VanOss Marin, Cynthia A. Gomez, and Jeanne M. Tschann, printed in Public Health Reports; also in Gómez C, Marín BV (1996). Gender, culture, and power: Barriers to safe sex. Journal of Sex Research, 33(4), 355–362.  

2. Latino Gay/Bisexual Men

The following Spanish-language survey has been used to assess risk behavior. It was developed through the Hermanos de Luna y Sol program, a culturally appropriate HIV risk–reduction intervention that targeted immigrant, Spanish-speaking gay and bisexual men in San Francisco. Instrument: Behavioral Risk Assessment Survey (The survey is only available in Spanish.) Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: N/A  

3. Measures of Sexual Attitudes and Behavior of Latino Adults


Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: Please see a description of the instruments. Marín BV, Tschann J, Gómez C, Gregorich SE (1998). Self-efficacy to use condoms in unmarried Latino adults. American Journal of Community Psychology. 26(1), 53–71.  

4. National Sexual Health Survey (NSHS)

NSHS is national telephone survey of adults 18 years and older residing in the 48 contiguous states. Measures were developed to assess a wide range of HIV-related and human sexuality topics including, but not limited to, the following: condom attitudes, condom slips and breaks, HIV-related caregiving, HIV testing and home testing use, STD histories, perceived risk for HIV and other STDs and optimistic bias assessments, extramarital sex, sexual development, sexual abuse and rape, and sexual dysfunctions. The survey also employed various psychological scales (sensation-seeking, machismo) and collected family assessments and history, health information and demographics, and a detailed assessment of sexual activities with each of the respondent’s sexual partners in the past year up to a total of 10 partners. In addition, demographic, geographic, and HIV/STD risk characteristics of sexual partners were determined. Instruments:

Supporting documentation:

Scoring: Included Reliability and/or validity: Catania JA, Coates TJ, Stall R, Turner HA, Peterson J, Hearst N, Dolcini MM, Hudes E, Gagnon J, Wiley J, Groves R (1992). Prevalence of AIDS-related risk factors and condom use in the United States. Science, 258, 1101–1106.  

5. Teen Peer Educators

The following surveys were used with the Healthy Oakland Teens project at an urban, ethnically diverse junior high school. The project’s goal is to reduce adolescents’ risk for HIV infection by using peer role models to advocate for responsible decision making, healthy values and norms, and improved communication skills. Adult and student evaluations of peer educators were conducted, but these are unfortunately unavailable. Instrument: Teen knowledge, attitude, behavior, belief (KABB) questionnaire Scoring: Please read the detailed description of the instruments Reliability and/or validity: Ekstrand ML, Siegel D, Nido V, Faigeles B, Krasnovsky F, Battle R, Cummings G, Chiment E, and Coates TJ (1996). Peer-led AIDS prevention delays sexual debut among U.S. junior high school students. Oral presentation to the XI International Conference on AIDS, Vancouver, Canada.  

6. HIV Counseling and Testing in Developing Countries

The following surveys were used with the Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing Efficacy study, a randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of HIV counseling and testing for the prevention of new HIV infections. The study was conducted at three sites: Nairobi, Kenya; Dar-Es- Salaam, Tanzania; and Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Instruments:

Scoring: See variable recodes. Reliability and/or validity: Coates T J, Grinstead OA, Gregorich SE, Heilbron DC, et al. (2000). “Efficacy of voluntary HIV-1 counselling and testing in individuals and couples in Kenya, Tanzania, and Trinidad: a randomised trial.” Lancet V356(N9224): 103–112.  

7. Qualitative Survey: HIV Testing and Counseling among Injection Drug Users

The following survey was used with Project Access, a qualitative needs assessment commissioned by the California State Office of AIDS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine counseling and testing utilization and prevention programs through the perspective of drug-using clients. The instrument is designed to assess: 1) the behavioral, psychosocial, and social risk factors that influence high-risk drug users’ decisions to test for HIV; 2) the service delivery factors that influence high-risk drug users’ decision to test for HIV; 3) how high-risk drug users employ HIV testing in personal prevention strategies; and 4) how knowledge of HIV test results affects risk behavior. Instrument: Qualitative interview instrument Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: N/A

8. Self-Report Adherence to Medications

This questionnaire was developed by the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Recruitment, Adherence, and Retention Subcommittee, Margaret A. Chesney, PhD, and Jeannette Ickovics, PhD, co-chairs. Please read the two abstracts on adherence in clinical trials and practice. Instruments:

Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: Chesney MA, Ickovics JR, Chambers DB, Gifford AL, Neidig J, Zwickl B, and Wu AW (2000). “Self-reported adherence to antiretroviral medications among participants in HIV clinical trials: the AACTG adherence instruments. Patient Care Committee & Adherence Working Group of the Outcomes Committee of the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (AACTG).” AIDS Care 12(3): 255–66.  

9. Focus Group Questions for Sexual Negotiations

The following two outlines of focus group questions are taken from the Sexual Negotiations among Young Adults in the Era of AIDS research study. Prepared by Diane Binson, PI. Funded by the Universitywide AIDS Research Program, R94-SF-050. Instruments:

Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: N/A

10. Sexual Behavior for Students at Public Middle Schools

Barbara Marín and Cynthia Gómez at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at UCSF and Karin Coyle and Doug Kirby at ETR Associates developed this questionnaire as part of an evaluation study. These questionnaires are available both in English and Spanish. Please read a description of the questionnaires. Instruments:

Scoring: See scales. Reliability and/or validity: Marín BV, Coyle K, Gómez C, Carvajal S, Kirby D (2000). Older Boyfriends and Girlfriends Increase Risk of Sexual Initiation in Young Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27, 409–418.  

11. Prevention Services for HIV+ Patients

The following exit survey instruments were developed to assess frequency and variation of prevention services as reported by HIV-positive patients at Ryan White CARE Act–funded clinics across the US.

Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: Learn more about the methods used.  

12. Risk Behavior for Gay Men

These questionnaires were used with the EXPLORE Project and cover social activity, attitude, PEP, drug use, and sexual behavior. Instruments:

Scoring: See data collection section of the EXPLORE study protocol. Reliability and/or validity: BA Koblin, MA Chesney, MJ Husnik, et al. High-Risk Behaviors among Men Who Have Sex with Men in 6 US Cities: Baseline Data from the EXPLORE Study. American Journal of Public Health. 2003 93: 926–932.  

13. Risk Behavior and Health Care for HIV+ Injection Drug Users

These instruments were used to measure the effectiveness of the multisite INSPIRE Study (known as VOICE in San Francisco) and cover medication use and adherence, health care utilization, substance abuse, injection behavior, sexual behavior, partner relationships, and more. Instruments:

Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: Purcell DW, Metsch LR, Latka M, Santibanez S, Gómez CA, Eldred L, Latkin CA, INSPIRE Study Group. Interventions for seropositive injectors—research and evaluation: an integrated behavioral intervention with HIV-positive injection drug users to address medical care, adherence, and risk reduction. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Oct 1;37 Suppl 2:S110–8.  

14. Risk Behavior and Health Care for HIV+ Injection Drug Users

These instruments were used with the SUDIS Study and cover medication use and adherence, health care utilization, disclosure, alcohol and drug use, sexual behavior, partner relationships, social support, and more. Instruments:

Scoring: Included in instruments. Reliability and/or validity: Knight KR, Purcell D, Dawson-Rose C, Halkitis PN, Gómez CA, Seropositive Urban Injectors Study Team. Sexual risk taking among HIV-positive injection drug users: contexts, characteristics, and implications for prevention. AIDS Educ Prev. 2005 Feb;17(1 Suppl A):76–88.  

15. Women with Incarcerated Male Partners

These instruments were used with the HOME Study. Instruments:

  • Longitudinal survey: baseline. We administered these surveys to women visiting their incarcerated partners at the prison under study. Women completed the baseline while their partner was incarcerated, and completed the follow-up 30 days after their partner was released from custody.
  • Longitudinal survey: follow-up
  • Cross-sectional survey. We administered this survey to women visiting incarcerated men at the prison under study before our intervention began and after our intervention ended, to measure community impact.

Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: See instruments.  

16. Attitudes and Risk Behavior for Healthcare Providers and Their HIV+ Patients

These instruments were used with the EPPEC Project. Instruments:

Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: RISK ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS: Morin et al. Predicting HIV Transmission Risk among HIV-infected MSM: Findings from the Healthy Living Project. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2005 Oct 1;40(2):226–233. STIGMA QUESTIONS: Westbrook LE and Bauman LJ (1996). Perceived Stigma of HIV/AIDS Scale. Bronx, New York: Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Purcell DW, Metsch L, Latka M, et al. Behavioral prevention trial with HIV-seropositive injection drug users: rationale and methods of the INSPIRE Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004;37(Suppl 2):S110–S118. ATTITUDINAL QUESTIONS: Myers et al. Written clinic procedures enhance delivery of HIV “prevention with positives” counseling in primary health care settings. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Oct 1;37 Suppl 2:S95–S100. Morin et al. Missed Opportunities: Prevention with HIV+ Patients in Clinical Care Settings. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Aug 1;36(4):960–966. Steward et al. Provider fatalism reduces the likelihood of HIV-prevention counseling in primary care settings. AIDS Behav. 2006 Jan;10(1):3–12. TREATMENT OPTIMISM QUESTIONS: Vanable PA, Ostrow DG, McKirnan DJ (2003). Viral load and HIV treatment attitudes as correlates of sexual risk behavior among HIV-positive gay men. J of Psychosomatic Research 54:263–269.  

17. Risk Behavior for Jail Inmates and Jail Staff

These instruments were used with the Innovative Condom Distribution Study to gauge attitudes toward and awareness of condoms and sexual activity in jail. Instruments:

Scoring: N/A Reliability and/or validity: N/A  


S1. Ways of Coping

The Ways of Coping questionnaire by Susan Folkman and Richard S. Lazarus is used to identify the thoughts and actions an individual has used to cope with a specific stressful encounter. Instruments:

Scoring: Included in English instrument Reliability and/or validity: Folkman S, Lazarus RS, Gruen RJ, and DeLongis A (1986). “Appraisal, coping, health status, and psychological symptoms.” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 50(3): 571–579.  

S2. Female Condom Attitudes Scale

Instrument: Attitudes toward the female condom Scoring: Included in article Reliability and/or validity: Neilands TB, Choi KH. A validation and reduced form of the Female Condom Attitudes Scale. AIDS Education and Prevention. 2002 Apr;14(2):158–71.  

S3. Coping Self-Efficacy Scale

Instrument: For permission to use the Coping Self-Efficacy (CSE) scale and for information on its scoring, please contact [email protected]. Reliability or validity: Chesney MA, Neilands TB, Chambers DB, Taylor JM, Folkman S.  A validity and reliability study of the coping self-efficacy scale. Br J Health Psychol 2006 Sep; 11(3): 421–37.  

S4. SECope: Coping with HIV Treatment Side Effects

Instrument: SECope Scoring: Included in article. Reliability or validity: Johnson MO, Neilands TB. Coping with HIV Treatment Side Effects: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Linkages. AIDS and Behavior. 2007 Jul;11(4):575–85.  

S5. HIV Treatment Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale

Instrument: HIV Treatment Adherence Self-Efficacy scale Scoring: Included in article Reliability or validity: Johnson MO, Neilands TB, Dilworth SE, Morin SF, Remien RH, Chesney MA. The Role of Self-Efficacy in HIV Treatment Adherence: Validation of the HIV Treatment Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale (HIV-ASES). J Behav Med. 2007 Jun 23.  

S6. Modified Schedule of Sexist Events (SSE-LM)

Instrument: SSE-LM Scoring: Included in article Reliability or validity: Bowleg L, Neilands TB, Choi K-H. Evaluating the Validity and Reliability of a Modified Schedule of Sexist Events: Implications for Public Health Research on Women’s HIV Risk Behaviors. Women & Health, Vol. 47(2) 2008.  

S7. China MSM Stigma Scale

Instrument: China MSM Stigma scale Scoring: Included in article. Reliability or validity: Neilands TB, Steward WT, Choi K-H. Assessment of Stigma towards Homosexuality in China: A Study of Men Who Have Sex with Men. Arch Sex Behav. 2008 Oct;37(5):838-44.  

S8. India HIV-Related Stigma Scales

Instrument: India HIV-Related Stigma scales Scoring: Included in article. Reliability or validity: Steward WT, Herek GM, Ramakrishna J, Bharat S, Chandy S, Wrubel J, Ekstrand ML. HIV-related stigma: Adapting a theoretical framework for use in India. Social Science & Medicine 67 (2008) 1225–1235.  

Additional Resources