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13. Population Size Estimation and Enhanced Use of Surveys and Programme Data for HIV Surveillance in Key Populations

July 8, 2020 @ 12:00 am UTC+0


Establishing the size of various populations at risk for HIV has been identified as one of the greatest challenges in HIV surveillance and in developing estimates of HIV prevalence and incidence. Reliable estimates of the size of populations at high risk for HIV are important for prioritizing target populations, planning HIV prevention services, measuring coverage with these services and monitoring and evaluation of interventions.

The aim of the course is to provide participants with practical guidance on how to design studies to estimate the size of key populations (female sex workers [FSW], people who inject drugs [IDU], men who have sex with men [MSM]) and transgender persons), conduct these studies, and analyze, interpret and use the data. Along with the methods used to estimate the size of key populations (KPs), the course will outline the approaches that should be used to implement HIV surveillance in KPs such as integrated HIV bio-behavioural surveys (IBBS) and programmatic data sources.

The course will address several issues that can improve the value of IBBS for program improvement such as  (1) characterizing those reached by the survey, but missed by programmes; (2) using the Internet for recruitment of survey participants; (3) measuring the 90-90-90 cascade in KPs; (4) measuring HIV incidence; (5) measuring programme coverage and gaps in service delivery.

The course will provide examples of lessons learned around the world in implementation of size estimates studies and HIV surveillance in KPs.


Key topics: 

  • Methods used to estimate the size of KPs at higher risk of HIV: census, enumeration and mapping; multiplier method; capture-recapture; network scale-up; the wisdom of crowds; successive sampling based on RDS data
  • Adjustments for hidden or non-venue-based key population subgroups in size estimation studies
  • Interpreting diverging results of the size estimation studies
  • Developing ranges for size estimates
  • Calculating indicators of coverage with HIV prevention and treatment based on the size estimation and IBBS data
  • Designing HIV surveillance systems in KPs using surveys (respondent-driven and time-location sampling) and programmatic data sources
  • Data quality challenges in HIV surveillance in KPs


Objectives of the course:

  • To illustrate methods used to estimate the size of KPs at higher risk of HIV 
  • To describe approaches used to extrapolate data from areas with local population size estimates to the sub-national and national level
  • To build skills in field procedures for size estimation studies and IBBS
  • To acquire skills in designing surveys in KPs using respondent-driven and time-location sampling
  • To learn how to use multiple data sources in HIV surveillance in KPs for programme improvement, including HIV care cascade analysis

Participants will be given opportunities to share their own country-specific experiences and challenges in estimating the size of KPs and surveillance surveys in KPs.

Key aspects of the course is a group/individual work. Participants can choose between several options:

  1. To develop a protocol for a size estimation study
  2. To analyse already collected data from a size estimation study that participants will bring from their countries   
  3. To develop a protocol for an HIV survey (IBBS) in a key population
  4. To construct and analyse an HIV care cascade in KPs using data that participants will bring from their countries

Participants will present the results of this work on the final day of the course.


Teaching Methods:

The course consists of lectures, presentation of case studies, active class discussion, exercises and group work. The course is designed to provide participants with practical skills and knowledge on how to conduct size estimation studies.


Target audience: 

  • Epidemiologist, demographers, public health professionals, social scientists


This course was held in:

  •  Zagreb, Croatia 
  •  Colombo, Sri Lanka
  •  Yangon, Myanmar


July 8, 2020
12:00 am UTC+0
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