Critique and lessons learned from using multiple methods to estimate population size of men who have sex with men in Ghana

AIDS and Behavior
Silas QuayeGhana Men Study Group


Population size estimation of key populations at risk of HIV is essential to every national response. We implemented population size estimation of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ghana using a three-stage approach within the 2011 Ghana Men's Study: during the study's formative assessment, the larger integrated bio-behavioral surveillance (IBBS) survey; and during the stakeholder meeting. We used six methods in combination within the three-stage approach (literature review, mapping with census, unique object multiplier, service multiplier, wisdom of the crowd, and modified Delphi) to generate size estimates from 16 locations (4 IBBS survey sites and 12 other locations) and used the estimates from the 16 sites to extrapolate the total MSM population size of Ghana. We estimated the number of MSM in Ghana to be 30,579 with a plausible range of 21,645-34,470. The overall estimate suggests that the prevalence of MSM in Ghana is 0.48 % of the adult male population. Lessons learned are shared to inform and improve applications of the methods in future studies.


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