In addition, we compared the regional distribution of reportedly HIV positive survey participants with the regional distribution of HIV notifications within the national surveillance system that can be attributed to transmission through homosexual contacts.

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Measurement of prevalence and incidence of infections in a hard to reach population like men who have sex with men (MSM) is hampered by its unknown size and regional distribution.

Population-based surveys have recently been used to estimate the total number of MSM, but these surveys are usually not large enough to measure regional differences in the proportion of MSM in the population.

We explored the use of the proportional regional distribution of participants of large internet-based surveys among MSM from Germany to estimate the regional distribution of MSM in Germany.

We compared participants from two separate MSM behavioural surveys with each other and with the distribution of user profiles of the largest contact and dating website for gay and other MSM in Germany in terms of the representativeness of the regional distribution.