For all you health volunteers, especially those doing research, Demographic and Health surveys is a key website. This website is composed of information  collected and analyzed about population, health, HIV and nutrition through surveys in over 75 countries. The information is available by country and by region. These surveys make use of objective physical or biologic measures of health conditions called biomarkers and of geographic information systems (GIS). GIS measures the impact of location on health status. There are four general areas of research topics: HIV corner, Malaria corner, Gender corner and Youth corner. Many health subtopics are covered within each corner.

The Browse/Find Survey section of the website is very user friendly. Search by year, status of the survey (complete or ongoing), by country and by survey type. I requested any complete surveys in the Latin American/ Caribbean region on HIV behavior, knowledge and testing using the standard Demographic Survey. Survey results came back by country. I clicked on Honduras and saw that survey results were available from a completed survey dated October 2005 to May 2006 from women ages 15 to 49 with a sample size of 19,948. The final report was available and could be downloaded.

Journal articles are also available and can be located by country, topic or by journal. Hard copies of some reports are available for ordering and the reports are free. The website shows the steps needed to order copies of surveys as well as the steps needed to download information.  This site provides a wealth of health information to help with research or with field work.

Not having information you need when you need it leaves you wanting. Not knowing where to look for information leaves you powerless…
-Lois Horowitz