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Arch Hellen Med, 29(6), November-December 2012, 737-743


Description of the sampling research methods used for the hard to reach population
in the surveillance of HIV-infection

M. Pylli,1 V. Raftopoulos2
1HIV and STIs Office, Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Athens, Greece,
2Department of Nursing, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

Behavioral data provide essential information for the understanding of local epidemics. The main course of the spread of HIV differs from country to country. The basic characteristics of established HIV surveillance systems are the identification/ exploration of the affected subpopulation and of the patterns of behavior that contribute to the dissemination of HIV. Traditional sampling methods are based on the hypothesis that each person in the target population has a known non zero probability of selection. This requires a sampling frame of all the members of the target population, which is unfeasible in the case of hidden populations. For this reason researchers studying a hard to reach population have to choose a sampling method that is appropriate to their sources.

Key words: Respondent driven sampling, Snowball sampling, Targeted sampling, Time location sampling.

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