Population mobility is not a new phenomenon for the countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. However, over the last two decades, the global and regional economy has substantially accelerated the human migration flows. There is international evidence of an association between labor migration and higher levels of sexual-risk behavior and HIV infection. There is a need to interrogate the mobility issues and its impact on HIV epidemics in Laos. Thus, the overall goal of this study is to contribute to closing the knowledge gap between different levels of understandings of the migration and HIV/STI dissemination.

This research project is related to component II of the main project entitled “Promotion of good governance mechanism within the CCM reform framework in Laos and enhancement of the Global Fund strategy, by bringing together state and civil society actors”, funded by: Expertise France - Initiative 5% and implemented by the Lao and French Red Cross.

This project aims to contribute to strengthen national stakeholders & Civil Society Organisations’ capacities of good governance and on monitoring HIV, malaria, and TB programs in Lao PDR.

This research project aims to combine both quantitative epidemiological and qualitative anthropological methods. It is based on community-based participatory method that involves research partners in the knowledge-production process.

The research theme “Migration and HIV/STI” has been proposed to Research Sub-Committee (RSC) held on 24h March 2016. . This theme of the research was proposed in order  to help to clarify the situation of migrant populations as it has been requested by the CHAS in 2015 and 2016 since the Government does need evidence-based data on the phenomena and its links with HIV/AIDS spread.

Overall research protocol submitted to CHAS on 28th July 2016. 2016. Both PI and Co finalized the research protocol on 7th October 2016 and the direction of CHAS validated it in December 2016. The protocol was submitted to National Ethical Committee of Ministry of Health on December 2016 and received the Ethical Approval on 9th January 2017.

General Objectives

To provide knowledge both from a qualitative and quantitative perspective on how individual trajectory versus social changes and social processes and practices related to migration are linked to vulnerability and HIV/STI infection in Lao PDR.

Sub Objectives

1. To document the social processes and practices linking men and women migration to vulnerability to HIV/STI infection,
2. To estimate the processes linking HIV infection to vulnerability and migration from researcher’s perspectives and from people living with HIV/aids point of views.
3. To examine the opportunities and miss opportunities of the existing HIV prevention and care programs to reach people in the context of migration

Research designs and methods

This research involves various partners who are working in their own area of expertise, networks and or interests. It combines both small qualitative studies and a quantitative epidemiological research. It is conducted according to Community Based Participatory Research methodological principles characterized by three interrelated components: participation, research and action.
- Social sciences/Qualitative component


This research aims to provide the following results:

- Provide scientific knowledge on how migration impacts on HIV epidemic

- Improve the quality and access to health information and data on migrant populations and supports evidence-based dialogue on the fight against HIV/AIDS

- Provide information databases about Living with HIV and about migrant populations that allow better public health decision.

- Indirectly contribute to improve HIV prevention and health access services for migrant people. 

Ethical considerations

The study has been submitted to the Lao Ethical Review Committee.
Center for HIV/AIDS & STI (CHAS) gave permission for the study to be conducted in identified research sites