The 12 city HIV Surveillance Survey among MSM in Brazil 2016 using respondent-driven sampling: a description of methods and RDS diagnostics

Inquérito sobre o HIV entre HSH no Brasil em 2016 usando respondent-driven sampling (RDS): descrição dos métodos e dos diagnósticos do RDS

Carl Kendall Ligia Kerr Rosa Salani Mota Mark Drew Crosland Guimarães Andrea Fachel Leal Edgar Merchan-Hamann Inês Dourado Maria Amélia Veras Ana Maria de Brito Alexandre Kerr Pontes Ana Rita Coimbra Motta-Castro Raimunda Hermelinda Maia Macena Daniela Knauth Luana Nepomuceno Gondim Costa Lima Lisangela Cristina Oliveira Socorro Cavalcante Ana Cláudia Camillo Ximena Pamela Diaz Bermudez Regina Célia Moreira Adele Schwartz Benzaken Gerson Pereira Ana Roberta Pati Pascom Cristina Pimenta Lisa Grazina Johnston About the authors



This paper details the methods used in the second national Biological and Behavioral Surveillance Survey (BBSS) of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C among men who have sex with men in Brazil.


Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was used in 12 cities in 2016. The targeted sample size was initiated with five to six seeds in each city. HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis B and C rapid tests were offered to participants. RDS Analyst with Gile’s successive sampling (SS) estimator was used to adjust results as recommended and a weight for each individual was generated for further analysis. Data for the 12 cities were merged and analyzed using Stata 14.0 complex survey data tools with each city treated as its own stratum.


Duration of data collection varied from 5.9 to 17.6 weeks. 4,176 men were recruited in the 12 cities. Two sites failed to achieve targeted sample size due to a six-month delay in local IRB approval. No city failed to reach convergence in our major outcome variable (HIV).


The comprehensive BBSS was completed as planned and on budget. The description of methods here is more detailed than usual, due to new diagnostic tools and requirements of the new STROBE-RDS guidelines.

HIV Antibodies,Sexual and Gender Minorities,Brazil; Statistics,Methods

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