I’m writing a book on the politics of data for key populations, and it’s led me to think about “data deserts” – areas where no data is produced, so no programs or social services are provided.
It’s a particular problem for key populations (sex workers, men who have sex with men [MSM], people who inject drugs, trans* people and prisoners) in low-income countries. But surprisingly, it’s a problem for countries with higher income too.
Out of the 58 countries that the World Bank classifies as upper-middle income:
- 17 countries had NO official HIV prevalence data for ANY key population group
- 8 countries have HIV prevalence data for only ONE key population, but not the others