HIV Prevalence and Risk Factors Among Male Foreign Migrants in Cape Town, South Africa

Margaret Giorgio, Loraine Townsend, Yanga Zembe, Mireille Cheyip, Sally Guttmacher, Rebecca Carter, Cathy Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While migration has been shown to be a risk factor for HIV, variation in HIV prevalence by subgroups of migrants needs further exploration. This paper documents the HIV prevalence and key characteristics among male foreign migrants in Cape Town, South Africa and the effectiveness of respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to recruit this population. Participants in this cross-sectional study completed a behavioral risk-factor questionnaire and provided a dried blood sample for HIV analysis. Overall HIV prevalence was estimated to be 8.7 % (CI 5.4–11.8) but varied dramatically by country of origin. After adjusting for country of origin, HIV sero-positivity was positively associated with older age (p = 0.001), completing high school (p = 0.025), not having enough money for food (p = 0.036), alcohol use (p = 0.049), and engaging in transactional sex (p = 0.022). RDS was successful in recruiting foreign migrant men. A better understanding of the timing of HIV acquisition is needed to design targeted interventions for migrant men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-961
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Behavioral risk
  • Gender
  • HIV surveillance
  • Migration
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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