Men’s Labor Migration, Spousal Communication, and Women’s Use of STD Treatment Services in Rural Armenia

Arusyak Sevoyan, University of Adelaide

This study adds to the scant research on the association between labor migration and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It builds upon earlier findings that left-behind women had higher risks of contracting STDs than women married to non-migrants. Using a subsample of women reporting STD symptoms in a 2007 survey in rural Armenia, a setting with high rates of seasonal male migration and STDs, we examine how migration influence spousal communication about STDs, and how this association, in turn, affects women’s health seeking behavior. The preliminary findings show that women reporting STD symptoms in 12 months before the survey were less likely to talk to their husbands about these symptoms. We also find that women married to migrants were less likely to seek professional care for their STD symptoms than those married to non-migrants, and that this effect was positively moderated by their communication about these symptoms with their spouses.

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Presented in Session 126: HIV and STD in Migrant-Sending Communities