Migration and HIV prevention programmes: linking structural factors, culture, and individual behaviour--an Israeli experience

Soc Sci Med. 2002 Oct;55(8):1297-1307. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(01)00282-9.


Migration is one of the structural factors associated with HIV infections, but the dynamic and complex role of migrant situations as determinants of HIV-related vulnerability is still a major issue for social science research. Moreover, interventions to address the specific structural and contextual factors inherent in this association are limited and many do not take into account the cultural components. This paper presents a multi-level framework for analysis of the links between migration and HIV. It includes the association of migration with structural macro factors-lower socio-economic status and limited power in the new society; intermediate structural factors-limited social capital and bi-directional interaction of cultural norms; and individual-level factors-stressors unique to the migration context, depleted psychosocial resources, loss of cultural beliefs and low use of health services. All these factors affect risky sexual behaviour and transmission of HIV. The paper utilises those elements of the framework that are relevant to the specific needs of immigrant populations from the former Soviet Union and from Ethiopia in Israel. We demonstrate their application to integrated, multi-level HIV prevention interventions and propose several special principles for development of migration-related HIV prevention programmes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Communicable Disease Control / organization & administration*
  • Culture
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Ethiopia / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Power, Psychological
  • Preventive Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Psychosocial Deprivation
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / ethnology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Social Class
  • USSR / ethnology