Measuring Health Literacy Among Adults with HIV Infection in Mozambique: Development and Validation of the HIV Literacy Test.


The role of health literacy on HIV outcomes has not been evaluated widely in Africa, in part because few appropriate literacy measures exist. We developed a 16-item scale, the HIV Literacy Test (HIV-LT) to assess literacy-related tasks needed to participate in HIV care. Items were scored as correct or incorrect; higher scores indicated higher literacy skill (range 0-100 %). We tested internal reliability (Kuder-Richardson coefficient) of the HIV-LT in a convenience sample of 319 Portuguese-speaking, HIV infected adults on antiretroviral treatment in Maputo, Mozambique. Construct validity was assessed by a hypothetical model developed a priori. The HIV-LT was reliable and valid to measure participants' literacy skills. The mean HIV-LT score was 42 %; literacy skills applicable to HIV care were challenging for many participants. The HIV-LT could be used to assess the relationship of literacy and HIV-related outcomes in diverse settings, and evaluate interventions to improve health communication for those in HIV care.