HIV Awareness of Outgoing Female Migrant Workers of Bangladesh: A Pilot Study
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Female migrant workers face a growing scale of unsafe migration, which increases their risk of HIV. Despite this, increasing numbers of women are migrating from Bangladesh to other countries as contractual workers. The aim of the study is to establish a baseline for the socio-demographic status of female migrant workers and the extent of their HIV/AIDS awareness along with the factors that determine it, and to discuss the need for effective HIV awareness programmes. During June–July 2008 data were collected by a questionnaire from 123 participants by approaching a cross section of women at the airport who were ready to fly to take up an overseas job. A total of 87% had heard of HIV/AIDS. Participants who had completed an education level of year ≥8 were more likely to have been informed about HIV than others. The average score in correct identification of modes of HIV infection was 1.6 (out of 4) and for preventive measures 1.8 (out of 5). Television and health workers were the major sources of HIV related knowledge. HIV-knowledge among the potential female migrant workers seems to be poor. As growing numbers of female workers are moving overseas for work, government and other concerned agencies must take a pro-active role to raise their awareness of HIV/AIDS infection and of effective preventive measures.
KeywordsHIV/AIDS Migration Female migrant workers Overseas employment
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