The Epidemiology of Migration and HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Mark Lurie, Brown University
Southern Africa has both a rapidly growing HIV epidemic and high levels of population mobility. The common assumption about the role of migration in the spread of HIV is that migrant men become infected while away and return home to infect their rural partners. We measured the prevalence of HIV among migrant and non-migrant men, and their rural partners, in South Africa, and constructed a mathematical model to estimate the relative risk of becoming infected from within, versus from outside, of primary relationships. At this late stage of South Africa's epidemic, the role of migration is more complex than simply returning migrant men infecting their rural partners. Rather, there is evidence for the bi-directionality of HIV transmission within couples.