HIV on the Rise Among Migrants

Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 2

HIV infections are rising at a significant rate among migrant Mexican workers after decades of being a minor problem along the border, according to two new studies by the University of California’s AIDS research program.

As many as 1% of migrant workers—about 20,000 people—are infected with HIV, according to the results of a study of 600 migrant workers in Fresno and San Diego counties. That’s more than three times the rate of HIV in the general U.S and Mexican populations, according to UC researchers who sponsored the field work.


Researchers say that male migrant workers, separated from spouses and adrift from the cultural mores of their native Mexico, typically contract the virus in the U.S.—usually through sexual contact with other men.

Another source, Lemp said, is the widespread use of shared needles to inject antibiotics and vitamins. In Mexico, where injecting antibiotics is common, clean needles are available over the counter, but migrants here must share needles because syringes cannot be easily purchased.


Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.

Comments are closed.