Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT): Biomarker Data, Malawi, 2009-2012, 2015 [Healthy Futures] (ICPSR 37200)

Version Date: Nov 29, 2018 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Jenny Ann Trinitapoli, University of Chicago; Sara Yeatman, University of Colorado at Denver



Version V2 ()

  • V2 [2018-11-29]
  • V1 [2018-11-20] unpublished
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The Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT): Biomarker collection contains data collected as part of the Tsogolo la Thanzi (TLT) Study. TLT is a longitudinal study in Balaka, Malawi designed to examine how young people navigate reproduction in an AIDS epidemic. Tsogolo la Thanzi means "Healthy Futures" in Chichewa, Malawi's most widely spoken language. New data is being collected to develop better understandings of the reproductive goals and behavior of young adults in Malawi -- the first cohort to never have experienced life without AIDS. To understand these patterns of family formation in a rapidly changing setting, TLT used the following approach: an intensive longitudinal design where respondents are interviewed every fourth months at TLT's centralized research center. Data collection began in May of 2009 and was completed in June of 2012. To assess changes on a longer time-horizon, a follow-up survey referred to as Tsologo la Thanzi 2 (TLT-2) was fielded between June and August of 2016.

The biomarker data collection contains the results of HIV testing and pregnancy testing. These data sets include respondents from all waves.

Trinitapoli, Jenny Ann, and Yeatman, Sara. Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT): Biomarker Data, Malawi, 2009-2012, 2015 [Healthy Futures]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-11-29. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37200.v2

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD058366), United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD077873)


This data may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is strictly prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, this data collection is restricted from general dissemination. To obtain this file, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement in accordance with existing ICPSR servicing policies.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2009 -- 2012
2009-05 -- 2012-06
  1. This collection is related to the Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT): Baseline Wave Study, ICPSR 36863. For similar study information and characteristics, please refer to this study.
  2. For further information about the Tsogolo La Thanzi [Healthy Futures] Study, please visit the Tsogolo La Thanzi website.

Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT) implemented HIV testing and counseling (HTC) using an experimental design that varied the intensity of HTC among respondents. This means that researchers can study the impacts of knowledge of one's status, as well as have data on respondents' HIV status and HIV incidence over time.

The Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT) is an ongoing longitudinal study of young Malawians living within 7-kilometer radius of Balaka. The data was collected during face-to-face interviews from a simple random sample.

At sample selection, female and male respondents in the core sample were randomized to one of three HIV testing and counseling (HTC) groups that varied the intensity of HTC.

Following completion of the survey at each wave, female respondents were asked to take a urine hCG pregnancy test regardless of their self-reported pregnancy status, reported sexual activity, or visible pregnancy.

Tsogolo la Thanzi (TLT) placed considerable emphasis on drawing a genuinely representative and random sample of respondents. Researchers conducted a complete household census of all households in census enumeration areas where at least half of the area was within 7 kilometers of the Balaka town. TLT selected residents who usually reside in a given household. At the time of recruitment, respondents were considered ineligible if they were outside of the age range, were permanent migrants, or were deceased. Respondents were considered non-responders if they refused to participate in the study, were not found after three attempts to locate them, did not show up to their scheduled interview or to the second attempt to reschedule, or were deemed unable to participate because of language or severe mental disability.

At the time of listing, the area contained 6696 eligible women and 6180 men. 1500 women were randomly selected for inclusion in the sample. The only people excluded at the time of the random draw were members of the immediate TLT staff and their spouses. At selection, an additional 200 women were marked as reserve respondents to compensate for ineligible women. A similar protocol was followed for the 600 male respondents drawn from the general population (as opposed to the respondent-driven partner sample). The sampling ration is approximately a 1 in 4 for women and a 1 in 10 for the random sample of men.

Longitudinal: Panel

Individuals age 15-25 in 2009 living in a 7km radius around Balaka, Malawi.


At baseline, uptake of HTC among respondents offered testing was 85% for women and 78% for men. In 2015, 93% of women and 91% of men consented to HIV testing.

The acceptance rate for pregnancy testing ranged between 84-94% across waves.



2018-11-29 Updating public version to index variables separately on study homepage.

2018-11-20 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.