AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 1054–1062

Polling Booth Surveys: A Novel Approach for Reducing Social Desirability Bias in HIV-Related Behavioural Surveys in Resource-Poor Settings


    • URESPCentre de Recherche FRSQ du CHA Universitaire de Québec
    • Department of HIV & Sexually Transmitted InfectionsHealth Protection Services—Colindale, Health Protection Agency
    • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • A. A. Jayachandran
    • CHARME-India Project
  • Pradeep Banandur
    • CHARME-India Project
    • Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital
  • Banadakoppa M. Ramesh
    • University of Manitoba
    • Karnataka Health Promotion Trust
  • Reynold Washington
    • Karnataka Health Promotion Trust
    • St. John’s Medical College and Hospital
  • B. M. Sangameshwar
    • Karnataka Health Promotion Trust
    • Karuna Medical College and Hospital
  • Stephen Moses
    • University of Manitoba
  • James Blanchard
    • University of Manitoba
  • Michel Alary
    • URESPCentre de Recherche FRSQ du CHA Universitaire de Québec
    • Département de médecine sociale et préventiveUniversité Laval
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10461-011-0004-1

Cite this article as:
Lowndes, C.M., Jayachandran, A.A., Banandur, P. et al. AIDS Behav (2012) 16: 1054. doi:10.1007/s10461-011-0004-1


This study compared rates of HIV-related sexual risk behaviours reported in individual face-to-face (FTFI) and group anonymous polling booth (PBS) interviews in India. In PBS, respondents grouped by gender and marital status answered yes/no questions by putting tokens with question numbers in colour-coded containers. Data were subsequently collated for each group as a whole, so responses were not traceable back to individuals. Male and female PBS participants reported substantially higher rates of pre-marital, extra-marital, commercial and anal sex than FTFI participants; e.g. 11 vs. 2% married males reported paying for sex; 6 vs. 1% unmarried males reported homosexual anal sex.


IndiaHIVSocial desirability biasSexual behaviourSurvey methodologiesInterviewing techniques

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011