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Commentary
July 21, 2010

HIV and Human Trafficking–Related StigmaHealth Interventions for Trafficked Populations

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: School of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (Ms Vijeyarasa); and Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (Dr Stein).

JAMA. 2010;304(3):344-345. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.964

Despite potentially overlapping causes and consequences of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and human trafficking, including poverty, discrimination, and marginalization,1 there is only limited recognition of the links between the two. The limited research that exists on trafficking for sexual exploitation (and not labor exploitation more generally) suggests that trafficked individuals face increased risks of HIV infection and that there is stigmatization associated with the convergence between HIV and human trafficking. Human immunodeficiency virus awareness-raising interventions are needed among potential trafficked populations and migrant sex workers alike during the predeparture stage, and increased access to health care and voluntary HIV screening is needed for all migrant populations, including trafficked individuals, in countries of origin and destination. All such interventions must give sufficient attention to stigma reduction strategies.

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