The sexual network questionnaire appended hereto is similar
in many respects to the prevention indicators questionnaire , the primary
difference is that the new module asks for considerably more detail about each
relationship the survey respondent participates in. While UNAIDS still
enthusiastically endorses the use of the earlier package, especially for
evaluating national programmes, the need for more insights into sexual networks
for understanding the dynamics of the epidemic has become apparent
This new questionnaire is part of an attempt to gain those
insights - it is recommended for use in countries where managers of AIDS
programmes and researchers are primarily interested in gaining additional
information on sexual mixing patterns for intervention purposes.
Population surveys have a central and valuable role to play in
the measurement of two of the main determinants of the rate of HIV transmission:
number of sexual partners and use of condoms during sexual intercourse.
Measurement of these determinants over time is crucial for the evaluation of
In recognition of that fact, WHO/GPA developed in 1994 a package
entitled Evaluation of a national AIDS programme: A methods package-1.
Prevention of HIV infection 
Among the array of methods to measure HIV/AIDS
prevention-related indicators, a central place was given to repeated population
surveys as a tool for better understanding of the sexual risk behaviours in the
general population and of the impact of programme activities on those risk
The GPA package gives a comprehensive overview of the design of
population surveys and of the necessary steps to be undertaken in the planning
of such surveys. There is detailed discussion of objectives; measurement of
selected prevention indicators; questionnaire content and design; sampling;
training of field staff and collection of data; data management, analysis and
reporting; survey timetables; and in-country survey costs.
The methods package, including the population survey, has been
used extensively over the four years since it was published. More than 30
countries have carried out geographically focused population surveys for
evaluation purposes, while some 60 countries have used other parts of the
package for evaluation of their own national programmes [2, 3]. This effort is
expected to continue with the support of UNAIDS, cosponsors and bilateral and
multilateral agencies. In particular, UNAIDS is encouraging repeated surveys
that would allow monitoring of behaviour change over time.
National AIDS programmes around the world are currently using
epidemiological fact sheets in which the prevention indicators are an essential