Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 700–710 | Cite as

HIV Sexual Risk Behaviors and Multilevel Determinants Among Male Labor Migrants from Tajikistan

  • Stevan Weine
  • Mahbat Bahromov
  • Sana Loue
  • Linda Owens
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to investigate HIV risk behaviors and their multilevel determinants in male labor migrants from Tajikistan to Moscow. In Russia and Central Asia, where AIDS rates are amongst the world’s highest, conditions in both sending and receiving countries pose serious challenges to HIV prevention. A survey of Tajik married male seasonal labor migrants in Moscow was completed by 200 workers from 4 bazaars and 200 workers from 18 construction sites as part of a mixed method study. The quantitative results indicated that male labor migrants were at risk for HIV due to higher sexual behaviors including sexual relations with sex workers (92 %), multiple partnering in the past month (86 %), unprotected sex with sex workers (33 %), and reduced frequency of condom use while drinking alcohol (57 %). Multivariate tests indicated the multilevel factors that increased HIV sexual risks including: pre-migration factors (e.g. used sex workers in Tajikistan); migrant work and lifestyle factors (e.g. greater number of times visited Moscow); migrant sexual and relational factors (e.g. regular partner in Moscow); and migrant health and mental health factors (e.g. increased frequency of alcohol use). Qualitative findings from longitudinal ethnographic interviews and observations of a subset of 40 purposively sampled Tajik male migrants demonstrated how these multilevel pre-migration and migration factors account for HIV risk and protective behaviors in context. These findings underscore the seriousness of HIV risk for labor migrants and call both for multilevel approaches to prevention and for further study.


HIV risk Labor migrants Central Asia 



The research described in this article was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD056954).


  1. 1.
    UNAIDS: Eastern Europe and Central Asia fact sheet. Geneva: United Nations; 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kelly JA, Amirkhanian YA. The newest epidemic: a review of HIV/AIDS in Central and Eastern Europe. Int J STD AIDS. 2003;14(6):361–71.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Erlich, A.: From refugee sender to labor exporter. Migration information source. 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2010 from:
  4. 4.
    Olimova S, Bosc I. Labor migration from Tajikistan. 2003. Geneva: International Organization on Migration. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from:
  5. 5.
    Weine SM, Bahromov M, Brisson A, Mizroev A. Unprotected Tajik migrant workers in Moscow at risk for HIV/AIDS. J Immigr Minor Health. 2008;10:461–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shakarishvili A, Dubovskaya L, Zohrabyan L, et al. Sex work, drug use, HIV infection, and spread of sexually transmitted infections in Moscow. Russian Federation. Lancet. 2005;366(9479):57–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tajikistan HIV/AIDS Prevention Center: Epidemiologic situation of HIV/AIDS in Tajikistan. Presentation of Tajikistan HIV/AIDS Prevention Center to stakeholders. Dushanbe; 2010.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kramer MA, van Veen MG, Op de Coul ELM, Geskus RB, Coutinho RA, van de Laar MJW, Prins M. Migrants travelling to their country of origin: a bridge population for HIV transmission? Sex Transm Infect. 2008;84:554–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Anderson AF, Qingsi Z, Hua X, Jianfeng B. China’s floating population and the potential for HIV transmission: a social-behavioural perspective. AIDS Care. 2003;15(2):177–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fitzgerald K, Chakraborty J, Shah T, Khuder S, Duggan J. HIV/AIDS knowledge and risk perception among female migrant farm workers in the midwest. J Immigr Health. 2003;5(1):29–36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Li L, Morrow M, Kermode M. Vulnerable but feeling safe: HIV risk among male rural-to-urban migrant workers in Chengdu. China. AIDS Care. 2007;19(10):1288–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Organista H, Carrillo H, Ayala G. HIV prevention with Mexican migrants: review, critique, and recommendations. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004;37:S227–39.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Brettell C, Hollilfield JF, editors. Migration theory: talking across disciplines. New York, N.Y.: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group; 2007.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Berm SL. Gender schema theory: a cognitive account of sex typing. Psychol Rev. 1981;88:354–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Coates TJ, Ricther L, Caceres C. Behavioural strategies to reduce HIV transmission: how to make them work better. Lancet. 2008;372:669–84.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Weine SM, Feetham S, Kulauzovic Y, Besic S, Lezic A, Mujagic A, Muzurovic J, Spahovic D, Rolland J, Sclove S, Pavkovic S. A multiple-family group access intervention for refugee families with PTSD. J Marital Family Therapy. 2008;34:149–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    McKay M, Chasse K, Paikoff R, et al. Family-level impact of the CHAMP family program: a community collaborative effort to support urban families and reduce youth HIV risk exposure. Fam Process. 2004;43(1):79–93.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Agadjanian V: War, forced migration, HIV/AIDS risks in Angola. US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 2004. (R03 HD45129).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Organista KC, Kubo A. Pilot survey of HIV risk and contextual problems and issues in Mexican/Latino migrant day laborers. J Immigr Health. 2005;7(4):269–81.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ware JE, Kosinski M, Keller SD. A 12-item short-form health survey: construction of scales and preliminary tests of reliability and validity. Med Care. 1996;34(3):220–33.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mollica R, Caspi-Yavin Y. Measuring torture and torture-related symptoms. Psychol Assess. 1991;3:1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Weine SM, Becker DF, McGlashan TH, et al. Psychiatric consequences of ethnic cleansing: clinical assessments and trauma testimonies of newly resettled Bosnian Refugees. Am J Psychiatry. 1995;152(4):536–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Prins A, Ouimette P, Kimerling R, et al. The primary care PTSD screen (PC-PTSD): development and operating characteristics. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2004;9(1):9–14.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kimerling R, Trafton J, Nguyen B. Validation of a brief screen for post-traumatic stress disorder with substance use disorder patients. Addict Behav. 2006;31(11):2074–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    SAS Institute Inc.: SAS 9.1.3 help and documentation. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc, 2001–2004.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Creswell JW, Clark VP. Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publishers; 2007.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Corbin J, Strauss A. Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. California: Sage Publications; 2008.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Golobof A, Weine S, Bahromov M, Luo J. The roles of labor migrants’ wives in HIV/AIDS risk and prevention in Tajikistan. AIDS Care. 2011;23(1):91–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Amirkhanian YA, Kuznetsova AV, Kelly JA, Difranceisco WJ, Musatov VB,Avsukevich NA, Chaika NA, McAuliffe TL: Male labor migrants in Russia: HIV risk behavior levels, contextual factors, and prevention needs. J Immigr Minor Health 2010.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Organista KC. Towards a structural-environmental model of risk for HIV and problem drinking in Latino labor migrants” The case of day laborers. J Ethnic Cult Divers Social Work. 2007;16(1/2):95–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stevan Weine
    • 1
  • Mahbat Bahromov
    • 2
  • Sana Loue
    • 3
  • Linda Owens
    • 4
  1. 1.PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.PRISMA Research CenterDushanbeTajikistan
  3. 3.EpidemiologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Survey Research LaboratoryUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations