August 2010

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


Estimating prevalence proportion and incidence rate of HIV/AIDS in concealed or hard to reach populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) is hampered by the lack of accurate estimates of at risk population size. Estimates of MSM populations have most commonly been made by substituting self-reported sexual orientation data collected via random household surveys for sexual behavior data. Respondent-Driven Sampling (RDS) is a recently developed tool used successfully to sample hard-to-reach populations typically missed by traditional sampling frames. Our recent, failed attempt to employ an anonymous, web-based model lead to a simulation study of RDS scenarios to evaluate how transitional probability structures, average social network sizes and seed composition interact to affect: (1) when/if equilibrium was attained; (2) composition of the final sample; (3) observed prevalence; (4) reciprocity. Researcher employing a RDS tool will benefit from: collecting pilot data in order to es




School of Medicine



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