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close this bookLooking Deeper into the HIV Epidemic: A questionnaire for Tracing Sexual Networks (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 1998, 24 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Introduction
View the document2. The individual questionnaire for evaluation
View the document3. Risk networks: the need for research in sexual networks
View the document4. Implications for data collection methods
View the document5. Questionnaire design
View the document6. Collecting data
View the document7. Analysing the data
View the document8. Future research
View the documentReferences
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix - Multi-site study : questionnaire I - Men and Women
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5. Questionnaire design

Each eligible respondent is asked to report on a list of characteristics about themselves and their partners. No contact tracing is needed, nor are the partners named. Table 1 shows the characteristics asked about in the questionnaire.

Table I - Attributes asked about in the sexual network module

Respondent’s characteristics

Relationship attributes

Partners’ characteristics


Type of relationship



Duration of relation



Living arrangement



Frequency of sex

Ethnic group

Ethnic group

Use of condoms

Marital status


Place of first sex

Number of other sexual partners

Place of origin

Duration of relationship before first sex

Place of residence

Ongoing or ended relation

Marital status

Number of sexual acts


Exchange of money


Age at first marriage

Age at first sex

Number of sexual partners

A key issue is the question of how many partnerships to collect information on. The decision has been to ask respondents about their partnerships in the last 12 months to a maximum of eight relationships, starting with the most recent and going back in time. This is probably a maximum and may be not justified everywhere.

The questionnaire consists of a short form gathering information about the household of the respondent, then questions for the individual her/himself: identification, background characteristics, marriage(s), sexual relations with other partners and questions relating to STDs and other health issues such as contraception. Questions about income level may be added in some settings, although they are usually very sensitive. Other questions useful for prevention programmes might seek to determine where the respondents meet their sexual partners.