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Respondent-driven-sampling RDS has well been recognized as a method for sampling from most hard-to-reach populations like commercial sex workers, drug users and men who have sex with men.
However the feasibility of this sampling strategy in terms of recruiting a diverse spectrum of these hidden populations has not been understood well yet in developing countries. Information regarding socio-demographic characteristics and sexual risk behavior were collected and testing was done for HIV and syphilis. Duration, completion, participant characteristics and the equilibrium of key factors were used for assessing feasibility of RDS.
Homophily of key variables, socio-demographic distribution and social network size were used as the indicators of diversity. In the study sample, adjusted HIV and syphilis prevalence were 6. Majority Although there was a tendency for recruitment within the same self-identified group homosexuals recruited Homophily of the self-identified sexual orientations was 0.
Upon completion of the recruitment process, participant characteristics and the equilibrium of key factors indicated that RDS was feasible for sampling MSM in Nanjing. Participants recruited by RDS were found to be diverse after assessing the homophily of key variables in successive waves of recruitment, the proportion of characteristics after reaching equilibrium and the social network size.
The observed design effects were nearly the same or even better than the theoretical design effect of 2. RDS was found to be an efficient and feasible sampling method for recruiting a diverse sample of MSM in a reasonable time. 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.