While human mobility has been implicated in fueling the HIV epidemic in South Africa, the link between migration and HIV has not been systematically reviewed and quantified. We conducted a systematic review of the role of migration in HIV risk acquisition and sexual behaviour based on 29 studies published between 2000 and 2017. Furthermore, we performed a meta-analysis of the association between migration and HIV risk acquisition in four of the studies that used HIV incidence as an outcome measure. The systematic review results show that HIV acquisition and risky sexual behavior were more prevalent among both male and female migrants compared to their non-migrant counterparts. The meta-analysis results demonstrate that migration was significantly associated with increased HIV acquisition risk (aOR = 1.69, 95% CI 1.33-2.14; I2 = 35.0%). There is an urgent need for effective combination HIV prevention strategies (comprising biomedical, behavioral and structural interventions) that target migrant populations.
Keywords: Meta-analysis; Migration; Multiple sexual partnerships; Risk of HIV acquisition; Risky sexual behaviour.