Being a migrant is not a risk factor in itself, but poorer health and higher HIV vulnerability among migrants are explained by: discrimination, gender inequality, sexual violence and exploitation, dangerous working environments, poor living conditions, poor access to education and social services and, most importantly, poor access to health care. Migrants often lack access to mainstream health care, education and social services. Many migrants do not have legal status within their destination countries and live in isolation, making it difficult to protect themselves against the people who might exploit them or sexually abuse them. Social isolation and other factors may lead migrants to participate in high-risk behavior, including use of drugs and alcohol. Male migrants away from home may also pay for sex, while the female migrants might look to sex work when they need extra money and have no social network to support them. All of these situations and activities increase migrants’ vulnerability to HIV infection.
Keywords: HIV, Asia-Pacific, migrant, discrimination, violence, gender, health care