Tonan Talk on October 1st by Dr. Amporn Jirattikorn

Title: Sexual Life, HIV Knowledge and Attitudes of Shan Migrants Living with HIV in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Speaker: Dr. Amporn Jirattikorn, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University

Date: October 1st (Mon.) 2018, 15:30 – 17:00

Place: Tonan-tei (Room no. 201) on the second floor of Inamori Foundation Memorial Building, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Moderator: Dr.Yoshihiro NAKANISHI, Associate Professor, CSEAS

For decades, northern Thailand has been a hub for migration in Greater Mekong Sub-region. Chiang Mai, an economic center of northern Thailand, has particularly attracted a large number of Shan ethnic nationals from Myanmar migrating across the border in search of work opportunities. The significantly high number of Shan migrant workers living in this city raises the concern about their sexual and reproductive health. Research conducted over the past two decades shows that HIV prevalence rate of the Shan migrant population was much higher than in the general Thai population and other ethnic migrants from Myanmar.

My talk explores, on the one hand, the circumstances in which migration is linked with HIV vulnerability. Here migration can be interpreted as increasing human interaction, increasing availability of sexual partners, lack of family and cultural constraints as well as a sense of insecurity and alienation, all contributed to HIV vulnerability. On the other hand, it attempts to understand how Shan migrants interpret HIV information and HIV risk in the context of their own particular beliefs and culture. This is to pay attention to not only “who” move but “how” migrants know and interpret HIV transmission risk in relations to their culture and belief. Data presented in this talk comes from a one-year qualitative research conducted in 2016-2017 with 43 HIV-infected Shan migrants (21 males and 22 females), and 29 healthcare providers who work in district hospitals in Chiang Mai.