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Migration and infrastructure development help fuel the transmission of HIV infection among migrants, and behavior change increases migrants’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to assess a proportion of having HIV preventive behaviors and its associated factors among migrants at Myawaddy Township in the Thailand-Myanmar border area. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 358 migrants aged 18-49 years who were recruited by two-stage cluster sampling. Data collection was carried out by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire during the first and second week of April, 2017. The Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression were performed to examine factors associated with HIV preventive behaviors among migrants.
The study revealed that 17.9% of the respondents practised HIV prevention; 17.3% had never had sex; 97.4% had only one sex partner; 4.4% used a condom at last sex during last 12 months; and 19.6% had a history of HIV testing in the last 12 months. The multiple logistic regression showed that migrants who participated in health education sessions were 6.95 times more likely to practise HIV prevention than those who did not (Adj. OR=6.95, 95% CI=3.34-14.45). Moreover, migrants who did not use drugs or alcohol before having sex were 2.49 times more likely to practise HIV prevention (Adj. OR=2.49, 95% CI=1.04-5.95) than those who did.
Policy makers should consider to promote the dissemination of health information among migrants by using all possible channels of communication to boost correct knowledge on HIV prevention. As HIV risk is higher among outbound migrants from Myanmar than inbound, there is a need for HIV prevention education with an emphasis on migrants planning to migrate out of the country.