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Malawi Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey (BBSS) - 2019-2020

Malawi BBSS 2019-2020 was implemented to track trends in the HIV and AIDs indicators for the three key populations. The study was also expected to come up with the population size estimates of Female Sex Workers and Men having Sex with other Men. The design was a combination of desk review and quantitative data collection methods. To improve further on precision and the outcomes the team used Responded Driven Sampling (RDS) to capture these “hard to reach” key populations. Just like the 2013-14 BBSS, the BBSS 2019-2020 also included a biological test component (HIV and syphilis testing) to determine the level of HIV and syphilis prevalence among the selected high-risk key population groups.

This report is a product of a collaborative effort, led by the National AIDS Commission (NAC) implemented by the National Statistics Office (NSO), with technical input and support from all national and international organizations/institutions representing the BBSS Technical Task Team in Malawi. We would therefore like to recognise the efforts of a number of organizations and individuals who contributed immeasurably to the accomplishment of the survey.

First, we would like to acknowledge financial assistance from the Global Fund through Action Aid Malawi. Without such resources these initiatives are mostly impossible to accomplish. We would also like to acknowledge National AIDS Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), University of North Carolina (UNC) Project-Malawi, National HIV Reference Laboratory (NHRL), Department of HIV and AIDS (DHA), Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) and Directors of Health and
Social Services (DHSS) in all participating districts for the technical assistance rendered to the staff of the NSO, MOH and NAC during the survey implementation period. This team made it possible that the survey is implemented with the most plausible protocol, acceptable data collection tools, well trained Research Assistants and efficient data analysis models. We would like to acknowledge the following groups for their assistance in accessing the respondents of the study: volunteers trained by the Ministry of Health, UNC Project-Malawi, CEDEP and NSO. We are subsequently, greatly indebted to the various respondent groups who generously gave their time to provide the information that forms the basis of this report. Despite the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other blood sucking myths during the data collection period, NSO would also like to thank the Global Fund for offering technical support in ensuring that the process is completed with good quality and high level of acceptability.

We hope this publication will reach a wider audience and serve to inform policy and program decision making at the national, regional, and community levels in responding to HIV and AIDS particularly among groups at high risk in Malawi. We also hope that the information contained in this publication will be used to intensify efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and provide support to those affected by the epidemic.


Malawi Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey (BBSS), 2019-2020

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