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The Game of Contacts
(Heavy drug users: Curitiba, Brazil)

The game of contacts data were collected as nested items in a behavioral surveillance study of heavy drug users in Curitiba, Brazil. This larger behavioral surveillance study was conducted by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation as part of the 10-city Brazilian Behavioral Surveillance Study of heavy drug users (Bastos, 2009).

The game of contacts data enables researchers to estimate the network composition and social visibility of groups. These estimates may be of intrinsic interest or may be used to adjust estimates of the sizes of hard-to-count populations made using the network scale-up method. For additional information about the game of contacts see Salganik et al. (2011).

Data Release

This public data release includes two data files on 294 respondents in comma separated values (CSV) format, 13 R programs, data documentation, and a copy of the interviewer form (in Portuguese) to record the game of contacts data. By running the R programs, one can reproduce all the graphical and tabular results as reported in Salganik et al. (2011).

Please direct any questions to Prof. Matthew Salganik.


  • Salganik, M.J., Mello, M.B., Abdo, A.H., Bertoni, N., Fazito, D., and Bastos, F.I. (2011) "The Game of Contacts: Estimating the Social Visibility of Groups." Social Networks Vol.33 No.1, pp.70-78. Available for access, if permitted, at
  • Bastos, F.I. on behalf of Brazilian Multicity Study Group on Drug Misuse (2009) Taxas de infecção de HIV e sífilis e inventário de conhecimento, atitudes e práticas de risco relacionadas às infecções sexualmente transmissíveis entre usuários de drogas em 10 municípios brasileiros. Tech. Rep., Fundação Oswaldo Cruz.


This research was supported by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the U.S. National Science Foundation (CNS-0905086), and the U.S. National Institutes of Health/NICHD (R01HD062366). Any errors are the responsibility of the authors not the funding agencies.

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If you can't find the data you need at Princeton, the next step is the ICPSR Archive at the University of Michigan. Especially, the Data Sharing for Demographic Research project (DSDR) provides resources to demographic data producers and users.

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