[This post was sent in by Pia MacDonald, Latin America Projects Manager for the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases]
Last month’s trip to Guatemala was exciting and full of promise for future collaboration with Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) and the CDC’s Global AIDS Program (CDC-GAP). I traveled with UNC Professor Clare Barrington (Department of Health Behavior and Health Education) and we met with our research collaborator, Gabriela Paz-Bailey of UVG and CDC-GAP.
Of the two projects we worked on, the first involves preliminary data collection for a larger study that will compare two methods of sampling hard-to-reach populations for socio-behavioral HIV surveys. One method is time location sampling. Time-location sampling is used for populations in which a sampling frame cannot be constructed but there are locations at which the population of interest can be found. The other is method is respondent driven sampling, which combines “snowball sampling” (people refer those they know, who refer those they know, and so on) with a mathematical model that compensates for the “non-randomness” of the sample.
The second project is a formative qualitative study on the development of a men’s reproductive health clinic in Guatemala City. For this, Clare, Gabriela, and I met with several community-based organizations who work with predominantly MSM populations (men who have sex with men), visited three clinics that offer HIV and STI-related services and met with local ethnographers about our research aims and methods.
Clare and I, along with our colleagues at IGHID, are very excited about our new partners in HIV/AIDS research, UVG and CDC-GAP.