|Migrants' Right to Health (UNAIDS, 2001, 60 p.)|
Migrants can be especially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS/STD, but are often excluded or simply missed in many prevention and care programmes.
The effects of globalization would seem to require governments, if only for self-interest, to ensure that this state of affairs does not continue. In addition, there is evidence of human rights and other ethical violations occurring that need to be urgently addressed at local, national and international levels.
Changing this state of affairs will require consideration of a range of socioeconomic and political factors.
Successful HIV/AIDS/STD prevention and care programmes for migrant populations tend to be those developed with and guided by migrant communities, and involving substantial community mobilization. Programmes must ensure access to care and be integrated with other local and national AIDS-related programmes. Peer educators often may play a key role, but flexibility and committed staff are essential to supervise and support peer educators.
It is particularly difficult for government agencies to address HIV/AIDS/STD issues as they concern undocumented migrants. However, non-government organizations in a number of countries and settings have shown that they can readily access and work effectively with people without legal status in the countries in which they are living.
Progress has been made in preventing the spread of HIV to and from migrants, and in ameliorating the impact of the disease upon HIV-infected migrants. Projects addressing other sexually transmitted infections and reproductive health for migrants and mobile populations are available in a number of countries and settings. The challenge now is to address more comprehensively the complex issues involved, in all countries and at all levels.