Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Availability and Quality of Size Estimations of Female Sex Workers, Men Who Have Sex with Men, People Who Inject Drugs and Transgender Women in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

To assess the availability and quality of population size estimations of female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drug (PWID) and transgender women.

Size estimation data since 2010 were retrieved from global reporting databases, Global Fund grant application documents, and the peer-reviewed and grey literature. Overall quality and availability were assessed against a defined set of criteria, including estimation methods, geographic coverage, and extrapolation approaches. Estimates were compositely categorized into ‘nationally adequate’, ‘nationally inadequate but locally adequate’, ‘documented but inadequate methods’, ‘undocumented or untimely’ and ‘no data.’

Of 140 countries assessed, 41 did not report any estimates since 2010. Among 99 countries with at least one estimate, 38 were categorized as having nationally adequate estimates and 30 as having nationally inadequate but locally adequate estimates. Multiplier, capture-recapture, census and enumeration, and programmatic mapping were the most commonly used methods. Most countries relied on only one estimate for a given population while about half of all reports included national estimates. A variety of approaches were applied to extrapolate from sites-level numbers to national estimates in two-thirds of countries.

Size estimates for FSW, MSM, PWID and transgender women are increasingly available but quality varies widely. The different approaches present challenges for data use in design, implementation and evaluation of programs for these populations in half of the countries assessed. Guidance should be further developed to recommend: a) applying multiple estimation methods; b) estimating size for a minimum number of sites; and, c) documenting extrapolation approaches.

Below:  Categorization of population size estimates of female sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and transgender women in low- and middle-income countries, 2010–2014

Full article at:

Keith Sabin, Sonia Arias Garcia 
Strategic Information and Evaluation Department, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Geneva, Switzerland

Jinkou Zhao, Yaou Sheng, Annette Reinisch 
Technical Advice and Partnerships Department, The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Geneva, Switzerland

Jinkou Zhao
Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nanjing, China

Jesus Maria Garcia Calleja 
Department of HIV/AIDS, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Ryuichi Komatsu 
Technical Evaluation Reference Group Support Team, The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Geneva, Switzerland

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