Migration, Sexuality and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Rural South Africa
"South Africa is experiencing one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world. Among women attending antenatal clinics nation-wide, the prevalence of HIV infection increased from 0.76 per cent in 1990 to 26.5 per cent in 2002. Among the nine South African provinces, KwaZulu/Natal has consistently had the highest antenatal HIV prevalence: 36.2 per cent in 2000. The epidemic is by no means limited to urban areas. As in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, the predominant mode of urban and rural transmission is heterosexual intercourse. Migration is one of many social factors that have contributed to the AIDS pandemic. Previous studies have shown that people who are more mobile, or who have recently changed residence, tend to be at higher risk of HIV infection than people in more stable living arrangements. In Uganda, for example, people who have moved within the last five years are three times more likely to be infected with HIV than those who have lived in the same place for more than ten years. In an South African study, people who had recently changed their residence were three times more likely to be infected with HIV than those who had not. It is not so much movement per se, but the social and economic conditions that characterize migration processes that puts people at risk for HIV."