Sexual Risks of Central Asian Migrant Women in the Context of the Russian HIV Epidemic

Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University
Natalya Zotova, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russia

In dialogue with the scholarship on gendered connections between migration and HIV, this paper uses recent survey and qualitative data to examine HIV-related risks and attitudes among working migrant women from three Central Asian countries and their native counterparts in three Russian cities. The analyses focus on exposure to risky sexual relationships, negotiation of safer sexual practices in permanent partnerships, and experience of HIV testing, and compare natives and migrants as well as women of different provenance within the migrant subgroup. The results suggest that while migrant women are generally less likely to engage in risky behavior, they are also less able to negotiate safer sex within their permanent partnerships, compared to native women. Migrants are also less likely to take HIV tests and to access sexual and reproductive health care. At the same time, the analyses reveal considerable variations among migrants on these outcomes that call for further investigation.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Health of Women, Children, and Families