Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 116–128 | Cite as

Sexual Risks and Policing among Male Migrant and Non-migrant Market Vendors in Central Asia

  • Phillip Marotta
  • Nabila El-Bassel
  • Assel Terlikbayeva
  • Gaukhar Mergenova
  • Sholpan Primbetova
  • Elwin Wu
  • Louisa Gilbert


The following study examined associations between sexual risk behaviors and policing among external migrant, internal migrant, and non-migrant male market workers in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Negative binomial regression and logistic regressions examined associations between sexual risk behaviors and policing (questioning by market officials and migration police, and arrest) for 1342 external, internal, and non-migrant workers recruited using respondent-driven sampling (RDS). Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and adjusted odds ratios (OR) were stratified by migration status. External migrants were more likely than non-migrants to experience questioning by market officials (IRR = 2.07, p<0.01), migration police (IRR = 3.60, p<0.001), and arrest (OR = 5.32, p<0.001). When stratified by migration status, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol (IRR = 3.04, p<0.01) and sex with men (IRR = 2.71, p<0.05) were associated with being questioned or harassed by market police among external migrants. External migrant who reported having more than one sex partner while traveling were also more likely to report being arrested than external migrants (OR = 3.92, p<0.05). Meeting HIV prevention needs of labor migrants demands acknowledging the role of policing and allocating sufficient resources to support the implementation of HIV prevention programs in these settings.


Sexual behaviors Police Migrants Risk environment 



The study was funded by a grant from NIMH to Dr. El-Bassel. R01 NMH082684. Phillip L. Marotta received support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant #: 1T32DA037801-01 PI: N. El-Bassel.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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