Rural-to-urban migrants and the HIV epidemic in China.

Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
AIDS and Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.49). 08/2006; 10(4):421-30. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-005-9039-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT China is the next probable frontier for the global HIV epidemic. Central to this anticipated growth of the epidemic is the nation's new and growing population of rural-to-urban migrants. Although there are an estimated 120 million migrants, little information is available about their social and cultural context of their lives in urban areas and their HIV-related perceptions and behaviors. On the basis of the in-depth individual interviews conducted among 90 rural-to-urban migrants in 2 major Chinese cities, Beijing and Nanjing, this qualitative study was designed to explore these issues with a particular focus on their relevance to sexual transmission of HIV. The findings suggest an urgent need for HIV/STI prevention programs that address the cultural, social, and economic constraints facing the migrant population in China.

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    ABSTRACT: Background This study described knowledge about HIV prevention and transmission among labor migrants in China and assessed the factors that associate with HIV knowledge. Methods The study is based on primary data collected in Xi’an city, China. The study includes 939 male rural-to-urban migrants aged 28 and older. The multivariate analysis used OLS regression techniques to examine the correlates of HIV knowledge. Results Most migrants know what AIDS/HIV is, but many have deficient knowledge about self-protection and the transmission routes of HIV. About 40% of migrants fail to understand that condoms decrease the risk of HIV infection. Higher levels of education and internet usage associate with better HIV knowledge. Migrants who have engaged in sex with commercial sex workers have better HIV knowledge than migrants who have never paid for sex. This includes better knowledge of self-protection. Conclusion Labor migrants are a high risk population for HIV infection. Their lack of HIV knowledge is a serious concern because they are a vulnerable group for infection and their sexual behaviors are spreading HIV to other members of the population and across geographic areas.
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