HIV on the Move: Gender Differences in Migration and HIV Risk in South Africa

Carol S. Camlin, University of Michigan
Caterina Hill, Africa Center for Health and Population Studies
Victoria Hosegood, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Tanya Welz, King's College Hospital
Joerg Baetzing-Feigenbaum, Africa Center for Health and Population Studies

Previous research on the role of migration in the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa has almost exclusively focused on the patterns of male circular labor migration. This study examines the degree to which the large gender differentials in HIV risk in South Africa are accounted for by differences in men’s and women’s migration patterns. We used demographic and HIV surveillance data collected since 2000 from approximately 12,500 adults. HIV prevalence was 18.9% among stable individuals vs. 28.7% among those who had migrated since 2000. Prevalence increased in tandem with recent mobility: in the four months prior to HIV testing, prevalence ranged from 18.7% among those who spent every night at home, to 36.8% among those who spent few or no nights in the household. Females were more likely than males to have ever migrated since 2000, because of their greater internal migration. Males and females were equally likely to have in-migrated, but males more likely to have out-migrated. Women were less likely to have been home on the previous night, and more likely to have been away from home at least half of the time in the previous four months. In subsequent analyses, the degree to which gender differences are seen in the effect of migration on risk of HIV will in part be due to gender composition. Detailed measures of mobility reveal gender differences and highlight the associations between mobility and HIV risk among South African women.

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Presented in Poster Session 2