Survey Data Collection
Survey teams were recruited and trained in tandem with the roll-out of field work. Trainings included modules on interviewer techniques, conducting informed consent for study participation, use of survey instruments, HIV testing and counseling, and human research ethics.
Survey teams approached sampled households to identify the head of household and to seek his/her permission to conduct a census of household members. The following definitions were applied:
- Household: a group of people who share a physical structure such as a compound or homestead and who consume or make some contribution to food and other shared household resources.
- Head of household: the person who is recognized within the household as being the head.
- Household member: an individual who: 1) has been sharing a physical structure such as a compound or homestead and who has been consuming or making some contribution to food and other shared household resources; this can include guests who stayed at the household the night before; and 2) is listed by the head of household as being a household resident or overnight guest the prior night.
All household members who satisfied study inclusion criteria were asked about their interest in study participation, and if interested, were asked to provide informed consent for their participation. If an eligible household member was not at home, at least three follow-up visits were conducted to obtain contact.
Standardized questionnaires were administered at T1 and at T2. The questionnaires included interviewer-administered questions about demographics, and clinical and behavioral factors, including sexual history and self-reported male circumcision status. Male participants were shown illustrations of a circumcised and an uncircumcised penis to help indicate their circumcision status. Blood draws were administered by a study nurse or phlebotomist to conduct home-based, HIV counseling and rapid testing. At T2, prior to initiating data collection, field teams verified the identity of the participant using demographic data collected during the pre-cohort survey and use of national identification cards and/or witness verification.
At T1, study staff obtained locator information from all pre-cohort survey participants. Additionally, pre-cohort survey participants who tested HIV-negative were asked about their interest to enroll in Cohort 1. Study staff obtained informed consent for Cohort 1 participation among eligible persons who expressed interest.
To help ensure high study retention, Cohort 1 participants received an interim phone call three months after enrollment to confirm residence and other contact information. A second phone call was conducted six months after enrollment for appointment scheduling. Appointment information made during the 6-month post-baseline call was entered into a secure database and used to generate appointment reports for use in the field. Additionally, at least three visit attempts were made to complete Cohort 1 follow-up interviews.