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Estimating the number of key populations at risk of HIV is essential for planning, monitoring, and evaluating prevention, care, and treatment programmes. We conducted this study to estimate the number of female sex workers FSW in major cities of Iran. We used three population size estimation methods i. The wisdom of the crowds and multiplier methods were integrated into a nationwide bio-behavioural surveillance survey in , and the network scale-up method was included in a national survey of the general population in The median of the three methods was used to calculate the proportion of the adult female population who practice sex work in the 13 cities.
These figures were then extrapolated to provide a national population size estimation of FSW across urban areas. Using methods of comparable rigor, our study provided a data-driven national estimate of the population size of FSW in urban areas of Iran. Our findings provide vital information for enhancing HIV programme planning and lay a foundation for assessing the impact of harm reduction efforts within this marginalized population. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data will be available upon request submitted to info hivhub. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education owns data. Sex work is highly stigmatized and currently illegal in Iran. To protect the study population, all individual-level data on their size and risk behaviors are being considered sensitive data.
It is required that all researchers who wanted to work on this data submit their data request access to info hivhub. However, for this paper, the group-level data that we used for population size estimation are presented in the supplementary documents. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Estimating the size of key populations at risk for HIV e. However, the hidden and marginalized nature of these key populations create significant challenges in estimating their numbers through gold standard methods e.