July 17, 2007
Some Mexican migrant workers who become HIV-positive in the U.S. are contributing to the spread of the virus in rural Mexican states that are "least prepared to handle the epidemic," researchers have said recently, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Mexico is low compared with the U.S., and the disease is focused among commercial sex workers and their clients, drug users and men who have sex with men. However, high-risk behavior among many Mexican migrants that has been recorded in various surveys "worries researchers," the Times reports.
Some research indicates that migrant workers have a higher number of sexual partners compared with workers who stay at home, and migration increases the risk of rape and sexual abuse for many women. In addition, some migrants deal with being away from homes and families by creating new relationships in the U.S., according to the Times.
Studies have shown that the percentage of HIV-positive Mexicans who have lived in the U.S. has fluctuated between 41% and 79% between the 1980s and early 1990s. However, since 1992, Mexico has not reported comprehensive figures for HIV/AIDS cases, the Times reports. According to a recent study, the greatest risk of HIV transmission among rural Mexican women is having sex with their migrant husbands -- a risk that is compounded by their husbands' refusal to use condoms. Exacerbating the problem is that border towns between the U.S. and Mexico have become "magnets" for commercial sex workers and drug dealers, the Times reports.
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2007 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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