HIV risk and sexual health among female migrants in China

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Abstract

Sexual behavior is the dominant mode of HIV transmission in China, and young female migrants are among the populations at highest risk. This article examines how HIV-related risk behaviors among female migrants might vary according to workplace settings. Participants were young female migrants recruited from three workplace settings—factories, restaurants and entertainment venues. In a cross-sectional survey, we assessed 457 participants' sociodemographic characteristics, HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, condom use knowledge, sexual behaviors, condom use behavior and reproductive health factors. Participants working in entertainment venues were significantly more likely than those working in factories and restaurants to report sexual behavior, unprotected sex, multiple pregnancy terminations and sexually transmitted infections (STI). However, participants working in factories and restaurants reported significantly lower levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge, condom use knowledge, condom use self-efficacy and history of HIV/AIDS counseling and testing. Independent correlates of unprotected sex included employment in an entertainment venue, abortion history and sexual self-efficacy. Independent correlates of STI or genitourinary tract infection included employment in an entertainment venue, abortion history, recent migration and recent unprotected sex. These findings indicate a need for sexual and reproductive health interventions prioritizing young female migrants, and call for programs that can be incorporated into different workplace settings.

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