Guidelines on estimating the size of populations most at risk to HIV

10 June 2010

ISBN 978 92 4 159958 0

Measuring and understanding the impact and magnitude of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic presents many challenges. Yet without accurate measures and estimates of the impact and magnitude of HIV, it is impossible for countries to carry out HIV programme activities, such as:

  • Advocating for most-at-risk populations
  • Planning and implementing HIV prevention, care and treatment programmes
  • Evaluating programmes.

Establishing the size of populations most at risk to HIV allows epidemiologists to develop models which estimate and project HIV prevalence 1 or inform countries of the distribution of HIV incidence within their country.

Use this guideline to conduct population size estimate studies to measure and understand the populations most at risk to HIV in your country. Note that the guideline does not cover issues around behavioural and biological surveillance among these populations. Refer to the Guidelines on Surveillance on Most at Risk Populations and Second Generation Surveillance in this same series for additional information.

A Participant’s Manual and slide presentations for training have been developed in conjunction to these Guidelines and can be found on the UNAIDS website. Alternative materials for conducting training on size estimates in Asia are also available from Partnership for Epidemic Analysis.