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RDS Analyst Software Consultation

January 25 - 26, 2016

Venue: Centers for Disease Control ICF Macro, Corporate Square, Bldg 3 (3rd floor, check in at receptionist) 3 Corporate Blvd NE #370 Atlanta, GA 30329

Sponsor: CDC


RDS is a relatively new methodology used worldwide to gather HIV prevalence and risk factors data from hard to reach populations. In this consultation, the Hard-to-Reach Population Methods Research Group (HPMRG) is pleased to introduce a new comprehensive, user friendly and open-source software package for the analysis of RDS Data. The new software, RDS Analyst (RDS-A), includes a user friendly point-and-click graphical user interface allowing for the computation of new and existing estimators and standard errors, visualization of recruitment chains, and diagnostic analysis. It allows for the analysis of multiple variables at once, and the saving and re-use of syntax. For more technical users, the package may also be accessed through a command line interface to the open-source R programming language (

The purpose of this consultation discuss the advanced use of RDS-A with researchers already experienced in RDS methodology and statistics. Participants will receive training on the RDS-A state-of-the-art analysis and graphic functions and will be asked to provide feedback in the interest of improving the software prior to more widespread distribution among users of RDS.

This consultation is designed as an exploration of the advanced analysis of RDS data using RDS-A.

It will cover the full RDS-A suite of functions. This begins with data entry and loading data, coding missing data, and re-coding variables. It then treats descriptive and diagnostic methods including visualization methods, followed by existing and new tools for estimation, testing models, confidence intervals and sensitivity analysis. The consultation concludes with an introduction to the re-usable syntax and R command line capabilities of the software.

The consultation is be for researchers in epidemiology, social, behavioral and statistical sciences with experience using RDS methodology and theory. If possible please bring a lap top. If you can not you should be able to share with someone who does.

Reference Presentations

  • Step-by-step anatomy of a full RDS analysis

Background Materials

RDS Analyst Software

RDS Analyst manual and download, including installation instructions.

Background Papers

Announcements and Discussion Forum

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Notes taken during the consultation

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