|Meeting the Behavioural Data Collection Needs of National HIV/AIDS and STD Programmes (Implementing AIDS Prevention and Care Project - Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - United States Agency for International Development, 1998, 41 p.)|
|6. Recommended mix of data collection methods|
As is now clear, different data collection methods deliver different products with varying levels of cost and complexity. To use its resources most efficiently, a national programme must make choices about what mix of methods to adopt, with what frequency, and on what scale. These choices will reflect the stage of the epidemic in a country as well as the political and social environment, the existing capacity for research, and the available resources.
Family Health International, UNAIDS, and their partner organisations have made recommendations for a minimum package of behavioural data collection for each major stage of the epidemic. These recommendations are part of the UNAIDS/WHO guidelines for second generation surveillance systems and are based on the assumption that HIV serosurveillance is in place or is being developed in line with those guidelines.
Obviously, many countries will already have put in place some or all of the data collection mechanisms recommended. Tables 4 to 6, which summarise the minimum package for each stage of the epidemic, can serve as a checklist for countries planning to strengthen their behavioural data collection efforts.