Pathways to health services for cross-border migrants living with HIV: Nepalese and Bangladeshis at home and in destination sites in India

Briefing papers
June 2013
Fiona Samuels, Mirza Manbira Sultana, Prokriti Nokrek, Abu Taher, Nabesh Bohidar, Bharat Gautam and Prabodh Devkota

Migration from Nepal and Bangladesh to India dates back decades, with many people moving to find better work and livelihood opportunities. As they move they face risks, not least in relation to their health. As part of a five-year operations-research project, EMPHASIS (Enhancing Mobile Population’s Access to HIV and AIDS Information Services and Support) has explored the health and HIV and AIDS-related vulnerabilities of migrants as they cross borders, and has provided targeted interventions at source, transit and destination sites.

This Project Briefing explores the experiences of people living with HIV (PLHIV) as they migrate. Drawing on small-scale qualitative studies in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, we explore their migration experiences and their patterns of HIV diagnosis and treatment. We then provide examples of the barriers they face in accessing health services (including antiretroviral therapy, care and support services) at source and destination. This is followed by an outline of how EMPHASIS has addressed these barriers. It concludes with some recommendations.