Men's Migration and Women's HIV/AIDS Risks
Project funded by the NICHD (2006-8)
5R21HD048257, 2006-2008, funded by the National Institute
for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Although migration is often said to be a key factor
in the spread of HIV/AIDS, evidence to support the claims that migration
increases exposure to HIV risks remains inconclusive. Moreover, most
attention has been focused on HIV/AIDS risks of migrants, primarily
men, in cities and other destination areas. Relatively little systematic
information exists about migrants’ wives remaining in rural
areas and their exposure to infection risks and access to prevention.
In addition to possible direct effects of migration, i.e., the effects
that stem from women’s sexual relationships with their migrant
husbands, husbands’ migration may affect women’s HIV/AIDS
knowledge and risk exposure indirectly. Migration transforms women’s
marital unions, alters their social and economic constraints and
opportunities, and reconfigures their social and sexual networks.
These changes may encourage and/or facilitate women’s extramarital
partnerships, but at the same time, may give them greater ability
to avoid risky sex with both their marital and extramarital partners.
To examine this complex combination of direct and indirect
effects the project employed a complementary mix of quantitative
and qualitative methods: a representative survey of 1680 married
women in 56 villages of four rural districts of southern Mozambique
and a series of in-depth interviews with a subsample of survey respondents.
The survey sample included women married to migrants and those married
to non-migrants thus allowing for a comparison of the two groups
of women with respect to HIV/AIDS awareness and risk perceptions
and exposure to HIV infection risks and practice of prevention. In-depth
interviews, conducted with women married to migrants, were design
to corroborate and complement the survey data, especially in such
sensitive areas as sexual networking and practice of prevention.
The data are currently being analyzed. The results of this study
will advance our knowledge of the social factors shaping the HIV/AIDS
pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. They will also provide invaluable
information for interventions aimed at reducing HIV/AIDS risks among
rural African women.
CePoD Involvement: Victor Agadjanian (Principal Investigator), Cecilia
Menjívar (co-Investigator), Scott Yabiku (co-Investigator)