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12. Size Estimations of Key Populations: Methods and Lessons Learned around the World

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. Credible estimates of population size contribute to documenting progress in HIV prevention scale-up and in obtaining continued funding for the provision of various services.

The aim of the course is to provide participants with practical guidance on how to design studies to estimate the size of populations at higher risk for HIV (particularly female sex workers [FSW], people who inject drugs [PWID], men who have sex with men [MSM]), conduct these studies, and analyze, interpret and use the data. The course will provide examples of lessons learned around the world in implementation of size estimates studies and challenges in interpretation of various data sources. 


Key topics of the course are:

  • Methods of population size estimates: census, enumeration and mapping; multiplier method; surveys; capture-recapture; network scale-up
  • Interpreting diverging results of the size estimates studies
  • Using data for national size estimations
  • Calculating indicators of coverage with HIV prevention based on the size estimation data
  • Designing size estimates studies and writing-up results


 Objectives of the course are the following:

  • To understand the importance and uses of size estimation data
  • To build skills in using methods and field procedures for size estimation
  • To learn how to use multiple data sources to develop size estimates
  • To develop protocols for conducting size estimation studies and the use of size estimation information for programme development

Participants will be given an opportunity to share their own country-specific experiences and challenges in estimating the size of key populations. Participants will also develop draft protocols for size estimation studies which they can later on use in their countries.


Teaching Methods

The course consists of lectures, 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

Epidemiologists, demographers, public health professionals, social scientists.


Partner institution

  • Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco                                                             


This course was held:

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


July 8, 2020
12:00 am UTC+0
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