HIV Testing in Most-at-risk Populations

Export Indicator

Percentage of most-at-risk populations who received an HIV test in the last 12 months and who know their results
What it measures

To assess progress in implementing HIV testing and counselling among most-at-risk populations

This indicator should be calculated separately for each population that is considered most-atrisk in a given country: sex workers, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men.

Note: countries with generalized epidemics may also have a concentrated subepidemic among one or more most-at-risk populations. If so, they should calculate and report this indicator for those populations.


In order to protect themselves and to prevent infecting others, it is important for most-at-risk populations
to know their HIV status. Knowledge of one’s status is also a critical factor in the decision to seek


Number of most-at-risk population respondents who have been tested for HIV during the last 12 months and who know the results


Number of most-at-risk population included in the sample


Numerator / Denominator

Method of measurement

Respondents are asked the following questions:
1. Have you been tested for HIV in the last 12 months?
If yes:
2. I don’t want to know the results, but did you receive the results of that test?

Whenever possible, data for most-at-risk populations should be collected through civil society organizations that have worked closely with the populations in the field.

Access to survey respondents as well as the data collected from them must remain confi dential.

Measurement frequency



Condom type: N/A

Education: N/A

Gender: Male, Female

Geographic location: N/A

HIV status: N/A

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: N/A

Service Type: N/A

Target: N/A

Time period: N/A

Type of orphan: N/A

Vulnerability status: N/A

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

Accessing and/or surveying most-at-risk populations can be challenging. Consequently, data obtained may not be based on a representative sample of the national, most-at-risk population being surveyed. If there are concerns that the data are not based on a representative sample, these concerns should be reflected in the interpretation of the survey data. Where different sources of data exist, the best available estimate should be used. Information on the sample size, the quality and reliability of the data, and any related issues should be included in the report submitted with this indicator.

Tracking most-at-risk populations over time to measure progress may be diffi cult due to mobility and the
hard-to-reach nature of these populations with many groups being hidden populations. Thus, information about the nature of the sample should be reported in the narrative to facilitate interpretation and analysis over time.

To maximize the utility of these data, it is recommended that the same sample used for the calculation of
this indicator be used for the calculation of the other indicators related to these populations.

Further information