Estimating the Population Size of Males Who Inject Drugs in Myanmar: Methods for Obtaining Township and National Estimates
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Estimating the sizes of key populations at risk for HIV is crucial for HIV prevention and treatment. We provide findings of population size estimates (PSE) of males who inject drugs (MWID) in Myanmar, provide an intuitive method for countries to extrapolate subnational estimates into national estimates and provide guidance on how to maximize the utility of current PSE techniques. We used unique object and service multipliers, and successive sampling PSE in conjunction with a respondent driven sampling survey of MWID in ten Myanmar townships in 2014. Township estimates were assessed at a stakeholder meeting for biases and coded into ranges of high, medium and low MWID prevalence areas. Using the sampled townships as benchmarks for a range of MWID proportion estimates, national level MWID size estimates were derived by multiplying the adult male population for all townships with their corresponding proportion estimates. Final PSE ranged from high (4.12%), medium (1.02%) and low (0.11%), with the final agreed national point estimate of 83,000 MWID. Using estimates from survey data, this can translate into actual numbers of MWID living with HIV and practicing risky injecting and sexual behaviors. Although PSE are vital for monitoring HIV epidemics, no guidance exists for interpreting results of different PSE techniques or for extrapolating these results into national estimates. Assessing bias and gaining consensus on township level estimates and deriving ranges of MWID PSE throughout the country using stakeholder input is intuitive and accessible to countries.
KeywordsPeople who inject drugs Myanmar Population size estimation Respondent driven sampling Multiplers
This study was funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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