Does migrant elevate the risk of HIV/AIDS? A sequential analysis of linkages between migration and HIV/AIDS in Darjeeling, India

Arpita Das, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Does migrant elevate the risk of HIV/AIDS? Examining the specific context, study addresses two aspects of the link between migration and HIV/AIDS, (1) how does mobility and migration heightens the HIV related risk behaviour? (2)What are different pathways through which migrants and non-migrants are likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS? Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of various pathways linking migration and HIV/AIDS and the socio-demographic and contextual determinants of HIV sero-positivity is critical for devising suitable programmatic response to curb the pace of epidemic. HBM and ARRM provide the theoretical orientation for this research. Use of case-control design, primary data of 700 samples has been collected. Composite risky sexual behaviour index and social influence (both by family members and friends) index has been computed to perceive the aspects of risky sexual behaviour of a respondent and to examine whether family members or friends with any risky sexual behaviour has any impact to amplify respondent’s own risky sexual behaviour respectively. Difference in difference analysis illustrate that the treatment group (migrants &HIV positive) are 2.3 times more likely to indulge in risky sexual behaviour than their counterparts. Results depicted that the social influences of friend and family members have positive influence among the respondent to coddle into risky behaviour which leads to STI/HIV. The odds ratio clearly indicates that a significant increase in the number of male migrants adopting HIV high risk behaviours after migration, under the influence of drugs or alcohol and less condom use. Therefore, people must be encouraged to practice safe sex through education and the distribution of condoms. These interventions must be combined with care initiatives, with the prevention and treatment of STI and HIV. Community outreach programmes among migrants communities and work place interventions can be instrumental in reducing the vulnerability of migrant workers to HIV.

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Presented in Session 92: Reproductive health and rights issues