Temporary migration and STD/HIV risk sexual behavior: a population-based analysis of gender differences in China

Xiushi Yang, Old Dominion University
Guomei Xia, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

The link between migration and HIV/STDs has been well documented. But little research has addressed the issue of gendered consequences of temporary migration in China. Do men and women experience the same in behavior change and STD/HIV risk as a result of migration? Using data from a population-based probability survey, this paper examines gender differences in (1) migration and risky sexual behavior linkages and (2) factors influencing risky sexual behavior. We argue that female temporary migrants in China are subject to the influence of both migration and gender; the interplay of migration and gender renders female migrants particularly vulnerable to HIV risk sexual behaviors. Results suggest that there is a significant interaction between temporary migration and gender. While female migrants differ significantly from non-migrants in eight of the nine risky sexual behavior measures, male migrants do not differ from non-migrants in any of the measures. In the multivariate model, temporary migrant status is a significant and powerful predictor of risky sexual behavior for females. But it is not even significant for males. The model overall explains almost four times the variation in risky sexual behavior among females than males. Both individual socio-demographic characteristics and post-migration milieus have greater impact on female than male migrants’ risky behaviors. HIV/STD education and prevention programs are urgently needed for female temporary migrants and need to address the issue of gender.

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Presented in Session 38: HIV AIDS