Presentation of biobehavioral study among labor migrants of the Kyrgyz Republic


On September 6, the presentation of a biobehavioral study among labor migrants of the Kyrgyz Republic took place in Bishkek. CADAP supported this initiative of HIV Center of the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, main tasks of which were to estimate the prevalence of HIV and syphilis. Also, risky behavior, injecting drug use, and awareness of migrants in general were determined during the research.

Kyrgyzstan is a source of economic migration, mainly to Russia and Kazakhstan. Low socioeconomic status, limited access to various services, lack of risk awareness and stress associated with being away from family and not being integrated in the country of destination contribute to migrants’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. One of the key contributions from the CADAP Program was assisting in the oversight, monitoring and quality assurance of data collection within the study. This study is necessary to study the dynamics of the spread of HIV infection and use of injection drugs, risk factors, behavior patterns among labor migrants and sex workers , assess and subsequently predict the situation and timely planning of preventive measures

The study was conducted in Bishkek, Osh, Sokuluk, Jalalabad, Nookat. The total sample was 1226 people. Capillary blood was tested, rapid tests for HIV and syphilis were taken, and a biobehavioral study was carried out. “The study revealed unsafe injecting behavior, an outbreak of HIV among migrants from the Kyrgyz Republic  expect can be expected, 22 percent of respondents are people with risky behavior. The number of HIV-positive migrants has increased by 37 times. Of these, 25 percent reported injecting drug use and almost half had more than one partner in the past 12 months” – report Aijan Dorobekova and Aisuluu Kubatova, members of the expert group, which has conducted the research.

«CADAP is focusing on drugs but drugs are close to HIV and we are very interested to see and define where we can go from here, to think over many processes and phenomenon. Presentation of the study creates a space for discussion among excellent experts», – says Cosimo Lamberti, EU representative.

“Over the period 2017-2021, significant changes and variations have been observed in HIV cases by sex in Kyrgyzstan. Importantly, there has been a remarkable 40% increase in HIV prevalence among the population over the past five years, while there has been a significant 88% reduction in new HIV cases related to drug use. However, there has been an 8.5% increase in the total number of PWID, with an increase of 46% among women and 36% among men. In addition, a 4% decrease in new HIV cases has been observed. These results reflect the HIV situation in Kyrgyzstan during the reporting period and underline the need to continue implementing prevention and treatment measures to effectively address this challenge”,  – adds Ernest Robello, CADAP Director, based on  CADAP findings revealed during collection of data on drugs, recently performed by CADAP in Central Asian  countries.