A Case-Control and Mixed Methods Study of HIV Risk and Protection among Labor Migrants
This research addresses the major global health challenge of preventing HIV infection among labor migrants. It focuses on men from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Moldova who have come to work in St. Petersburg, Russia. This study aims to build scientific knowledge on the multilevel risks associated with labor migration that can lead to HIV infection as well as the spectrum of involvement in HIV prevention and care among labor migrants. The clinic-based case-control and mixed methods design integrates biomedical, survey, and ethnographic methods. The knowledge generated will inform the development of more targeted and effective strategies for HIV prevention, testing, and linkages to care for labor migrants.
The specific aims are: 1) to quantitatively investigate the associations between HIV infection and multilevel determinants related to labor migration at the levels of social policy, sociocultural practices, health and mental health, and sexual practices through a clinic-based case-control design; 2) to qualitatively investigate the spectrum of involvement in HIV prevention and care among labor migrants (including experiences and perceptions regarding HIV testing, HIV infection, linkages to care, barriers to care, and the impact of labor migration) through minimally structured interviews of a purposive sample of HIV infected migrants, non-HIV infected migrants, providers, community advocates, and policymakers. Aim 1 will be accomplished through a survey of 200 HIV positive Central Asian male migrants and a matched sample of 200 HIV negative Central Asian male migrants. Aim 2, will be accomplished by conducting ethnographic interviews with a purposive sample of HIV infected migrants (n=12), non-HIV infected migrants (n=12) drawn from the larger sample, as well as providers (n=6), community advocates (n=6), and policymakers (n=6). The knowledge generated will lead to the development of more targeted and effective strategies for engagement in HIV prevention, testing, and linkages to care for labor migrants.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health Office of AIDS Research
Addressing Mental Illness and Physical Comorbidities in Migrants and Their Families
This project addresses the adverse impact of migration on chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD), specifically in the area of mental illness and physical comorbidities. The overall aim of the project is to build research capacity in low- and middle-income countries concerning this major global health problem. It focuses on migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia from two of the world’s highest migrant sending countries, Kosovo and Tajikistan, both Muslim majority LMICs.
The purpose of this research is to improve the abilities of policymakers, practitioners, and educators in Kosovo and Tajikistan to deal with migration-associated mental and physical illnesses for their citizens both at home and abroad. This grant supports the University of Illinois at Chicago to work with leading research institutions in Kosovo and Tajikistan to train postdoctoral researchers and build centers of expertise in NCD research that will be part of a Chicago-Prishtina-Dushanbe Network (CPDN). This research training program has three specific aims: 1) Train 10 early- to mid-career postdoctoral researchers from Kosovo and Tajikistan in multidisciplinary approaches to NCD research through training at UIC; 2) Build research capacity at 7 partner institutions by supporting 10 one-year mentored research projects and by training an estimated 250 participants per year (both live and on-line) who are either academics, educators, practitioners, policymakers, or stakeholders on pertinent research methods, issues, and infrastructure; 3) Develop and sustain a diverse network of researchers from the U.S., Kosovo, and Tajikistan dedicated to sharing knowledge and skills through convening annual meetings, trainings, and dissemination.
The research training program focuses on the impact of migration upon chronic non-communicable diseases in the areas of mental illness (e.g. depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse) and risks for physical comorbidities (e.g. cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and occupational diseases). The contemporary complex nature of migration, mental illness, and physical comorbidities requires multifaceted and novel approaches to NCD research training that incorporate: 1) clinical, behavioral, environmental, and social science approaches to the impact of migration; 2) lifecycle, family, epigenetic, and prevention science approaches to studying risks, resilience, and intervention opportunities; 3) services research approaches to the implementation and evaluation of care and prevention in diverse settings; and 4) international exchange of research expertise.