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J Immigr Minor Health. 2008 Oct;10(5):461-8.

Unprotected Tajik male migrant workers in Moscow at risk for HIV/AIDS.

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International Center on Responses to Catastrophes and Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1601 W. Taylor Street, Fifth Floor, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


This paper focuses on Tajik male migrant workers in Moscow and seeks to address the global public health problem of HIV prevention amongst male migrant workers. To develop feasible and effective preventive interventions for reducing HIV risk behaviors amongst Tajik male migrant workers in Moscow, this study aimed to characterize their HIV/AIDS risk and protective knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as key contextual factors that would likely impede or facilitate a preventive intervention. This was a collaborative multi-sited ethnography in Moscow that included minimally structured interviews with 16 participants and focus group discussions with an additional 14 participants. The results suggest that many Tajik male migrant workers in Moscow are having unprotected sex with commercial sex workers. Although some of the migrants have basic knowledge about HIV, the migrants' ability to protect themselves from acquiring HIV is compromised by harsh living and working conditions as a consequence of being unprotected by law in Russia. To respond to HIV/AIDS risks amongst Tajik male migrant workers in Moscow, preventive interventions must be developed that respond to their sense of being unprotected in the midst of harsh living and working conditions and that draw upon existing sources of religious, community, and family support.

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