183866 Patterns of migration and HIV/AIDS risk for Tajikistan

Monday, October 27, 2008: 9:15 AM

Jing Luo, MD Candidate , University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Stevan Weine, MD , Psychiatry, UIC College of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Mahbat Bahromov, MD , Psychiatry, UIC College of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Alexandra Golobof, MD Candidate , University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Azam Mirzoev, MD , Psychiatry, UIC College of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Introduction and Purpose: This study addresses the major global health problem of HIV prevention amongst male labor migrants from Tajikistan in Central Asia. The purpose of this study was to characterize how the social environment of migrants contribute to different patterns of HIV risk and protection.

Methods: Minimally structured interviews and focused field observations were conducted with 30 married male internal migrants in Regar, Tajikistan and 30 married external migrants in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Transcripts of interviews and field notes were coded and analyzed using ATLAS-Ti software and a grounded theory approach.

Results: External Tajik migrants largely go to Moscow where they are unprotected by law and face discrimination, injury, and imprisonment. They live in ethnic working brigades of 15 to 20 migrants per apartment and participate in high-risk sexual behaviors such as: multiple-partner-sex, heavy alcohol use, and group-thinking that discourages condom use. In contrast, internal migrants are registered workers in their own country and live in dormitories with few roommates. They exercise individual decision-making in extra-marital sex and use condoms based on their sense of a partner's cleanliness. Both external and internal migrants report low levels of knowledge regarding HIV disease, modes of transmission, and means of prevention.

Conclusions: HIV prevention programs are needed for Tajik labor migrants. Such programs should take into account how social environmental conditions impact HIV risk and protection for internal versus external labor migrants.

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss how migration shapes HIV risk. 2) Identify three conditions of social environment that contribute to increased HIV risk amongst internal and external migrants. 3) Conceptualize an intervention that may reduce the risk of HIV in the context of migration.

Keywords: Migrant Workers, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a U.S. based medical student who has conducted qualitative interviews of labor migrants in Tajikistan.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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