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Do neighborhoods and social networks matter? Exploring the process from migration to HIV sexual risk behaviors among involuntary bachelors in rural China

Huanying Gou, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi'an Polytechnic University
Huijun Liu, Xi'an Jiaotong University

The sex ratio imbalance in China since the 1980s has resulted in a large number of involuntary bachelors in rural China. Previous studies have found an association between migration and HIV sexual risk behaviors among involuntary bachelors, but how migration affects these bachelors’ HIV sexual risk behaviors remain poorly understood. Using data from a cross-sectional survey in 2017 (a sample of 740 male respondents who had rural household registration, had never been married, and were aged 28 or older), we investigated the relationship between migration and HIV sexual risk behaviors. Logistic regressions show that migration, neighborhood characteristics, and social networks were significantly associated with commercial sex and multiple sex partners, whereas only neighborhood characteristics and social networks were positively correlated with sexual partnership concurrency. Our analysis also found that neighborhood characteristics and social networks mediated the relationships of migration with commercial sex and migration with multiple sex partners. Social networks mediated the association between neighborhood characteristics and concurrency. Multiple-step analysis showed that the indirect effect of migration on commercial sex and multiple sexual partners through neighborhood characteristics and social networks was significant. Our findings suggest that further interventions should address neighborhood characteristics and social networks together.

Keywords: Migrant populations, Neighbourhood/contextual effect analysis, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Social network methods

See paper.

  Presented in Session 48. Migration, Space and Environment