unlikely to practice self-protection. It is reported that relatively more cases of HIV infection were found among returned labour migrants who used drugs in Yanbian, Jilin (Cui et al. 2002).
However, there is very limited knowledge and related research on the life and health vulnerability of overseas Chinese, either contracted labours or unregistered. It is important to explore this further, in order to understand their status better and to enable effective preventive strategies among them.
A study conducted between 1987 and the mid-1990s found that although only one HIV infection case was present among 176,000 people tested for HIV, the prevalence of STDs was rising. The majority of cases were found in the 15-44 age groups and there was a 150-300% higher rate of syphilis for people aged 15-24 than for other age groups (Purevdawa et al., 1997).
In 2004, Mongolia had had only four officially reported cases of HIV/AIDS. However, the community is aware of their possible vulnerability to the HIV epidemic. In the 2001 annual report of the National AIDS Foundation (NAF) of Mongolia, the following challenges in HIV prevention were stated:
There is a large adolescent population with 50% of the total population below 23 years of age, and the pattern of sexual activity among young people is changing;
The prevalence of sexually transmitted infection is high and condom use is low;
Recreational drug use is starting to increase and there is early evidence of illicit drug injection (NAF 2001b);
Widespread poverty (36% in the LSM survey 1998) is resulting in greater ill health, homeless children and adults, school dropouts and an increasing number of sex workers;
The regional HIV epidemic is already on the northern border of Mongolia and is approaching the other borders;
Internal migration is increasing since the rural areas lack amenities and infrastructure, and are facing climatic changes that make herding less productive.
Attention to migration and issues surrounding migrants has begun to attract the attention of researchers in the last few years. In 2001, A Micro Study of Internal Migration in Mongolia (Population Teaching and Research Center) was released and this focussed on the movement patterns and the adjustment and consequences for migrants. This was followed by a survey report on Urban Poverty and In-Migration