Rural-to-urban male migrant workers' vulnerability to HIV infection in Chengdu, China: qualitative findings from a mixed-method study.Work. 2010; 37(4):375-86.WORK
This paper aimed to assess rural-to-urban male migrant workers' HIV vulnerability and prevention needs in a Chinese context, specifically in the city of Chengdu, capital of the south-western province of Sichuan.
The primary sample group were 23 male migrant workers recruited from textile factories and construction sites. In addition, a total of 16 key informants (e.g., factory managers, healthcare providers and policy makers) and seven community members participated in the qualitative phase.
Qualitative methods included semi-structured interviews with male migrant workers and key informants, focus group discussions with migrant workers and local community members, observation, and review of key policy and programmatic documents related to HIV prevention and/or migrant workers.
Findings highlight migrant workers' vulnerability to HIV for a variety of reasons. Their migrant status rendered them economically marginalised and socially isolated. HIV knowledge was poor and discriminatory attitudes towards infected people commonplace. Perceptions of personal HIV risk were low, even though study participants reportedly engaged in sexual behaviours that placed them at risk of infection.
A number of interrelated factors contributed to male rural-to-urban migrant workers' vulnerability to HIV infection. Targeted HIV prevention programs for male migrant workers in Chengdu are urgently needed.