"South Africa's gold mining workforce has the highest prevalence rates of tuberculosis and HIV infection of any industrial sector in the country. The contract migrant labour system, which has long outlived apartheid, is responsible for this unacceptable situation. The spread of HIV to rural communities in Southern Africa is not well understood. The accepted wisdom is that migrants leave for the mines, engage in high-risk behaviour, contract the virus and return to infect their rural partners. This model fails to deal with the phenomenon of rural-rural transmission and cases of HIV discordance (when the female migrant is infected and the male migrant not). Nor does it reveal whether all rural partners are equally at risk of infection. This study examines the vulnerability of rural partners in southern Mozambique and southern Swaziland, which are two major source areas of migrant miners."