Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) Harmonized Data on U.S. AIDS Knowledge, Attitudes, and Testing, 1987-Present

Andrew C Ward, Miriam L King

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is an annual cross-sectional household interview survey that provides national estimates on health indicators, health care access, and health-related behaviors for the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population. In 1987, NHIS included its first supplement dealing with HIV/AIDS. In every subsequent year, the survey has questioned one adult per household about such topics as reasons for getting (or not getting) tested for HIV, circumstances of such testing, behavioral risk factors and self-assessed risk of HIV infections, sources of information about HIV/AIDS, knowledge about HIV transmission, and attitudes toward people with HIV/AIDS. These NHIS data are thus well-suited to time-series analyses of changing attitudes and practices related to HIV/AIDS in the U.S. general population. The NIH-funded Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) project, which codes NHIS data consistently over time and makes harmonized data and documentation available to researches for free over the internet, is currently working toward including all NHIS data related to HIV/AIDS in the IHIS database. By making it possible for researches to work with a single multi-year file containing consistently-coded variables supplemented with rich documentation addressing comparability issues, IHIS will facilitate further research into changing attitudes, knowledge, and practices related to HIV/AIDS in the United States. We illustrate some of the kinds of research facilitated by the IHIS coding of NHIS HIV?AIDS data by examining how the reasons for getting tested for HIV vary over time by race and ethnicity, age, and educational status.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2008


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