ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to describe a household survey designed to examine how a population perceives leprosy and the prevalence of infection by Mycobacterium leprae in endemic municipalities in the state of Minas Gerais. This is a descriptive study in five steps: the first focuses on the criteria used for selecting the municipalities; the second is the sample calculation; the third describes the routes within each of demographic census tracts that divide the municipalities; the fourth contains the strategies used for selecting individuals in each household; and the fifth is a description of the sample, a comparison with population data for 2010 and preliminary results from the municipality of Almenara about leprosy perceptions. We concluded that the household survey is an important tool for nursing professionals working in dermatology because it allows them to experience the realities of the various populations. It also provides crucial information to support the planning of actions to be implemented mainly in primary health services. Furthermore, when used in investigations on contagious diseases, household surveys can uncover unavailable information and contribute to a better understanding of the exposure, infection, and disease processes.