HIV prevalence among Mexican migrant workers in California is rising at a "significant" rate and is on the "threshold of rapid increase" in the population, according to two studies conducted by the University of California's Universitywide AIDS Research Program, the Los Angeles Times reports (Bernstein, Los Angeles Times, 11/2).
Last year, government researchers from Mexico and California announced plans for a joint study to explore the spread of HIV among migrant workers and their families. The study focused on seasonal farm workers, day laborers and urban workers in Fresno and San Diego counties, as well as similar groups and their relatives in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Michoacan (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/7/03).
The first study of 600 migrant workers in Fresno and San Diego counties showed that as many as 1% of workers -- or 20,000 people -- are HIV-positive. That prevalence...
This is very useful information. However, the headline is biased. The headline implies that illegal aliens are fueling an HIV explosion among those who are not illegal aliens. The study does not indicate that. Such an outcome is a very real danger, but we do not have any indication that it has happened yet. Many illegal aliens are much like everyone else: they want to make money; they want to feed their families. They need the gospel; they need the truth about AIDS, and they need creative, compassionate thinking on both sides of the border so that men can earn a living wage without being separated from their wives for months or years at a time. Surely such separations make illicit sex more tempting.
I like your sense of humor, Neil. ;-) We've seen to have imported a lot of criminals also. It used to be that immigrants had to be of high character, but apparently not anymore. I do not want to insult those immigrants who are, but we are getting many legal and illegal immigrant workers who are not. The Republican office holders of this state are just is bad as the Democrats in turning a blind eye to this problem.
Exactly. Illegal immigration means more Democratic voters (demographic gerrymandering), more workers for agribiz (abundant labor keeps wages down and we get cheaper veggies), and less pressure on the Mexican ruling class.
It's a win-win situation (unless you own land on the US/Mex border).
Also, there is no pressure from either the Republican or Democratic parties to control illegal immigration. Their needs to be more pressure from the U.S. on the Latin American countries, to be more democratic and fairer to their populations.
Educating Mexican migrant workers? That's a tall order, even if the usual materialistic/pragmatic AIDS education worked.
Mexico has a large class divide - poor Mestizos, who risk death to come here for work, & the fair-skinned wealthy, who drive here in late-model SUVs to shop & are only distinguishable from Americans by their language & license plates. It seems that the ancient Spanish obsession with protecting "blue blood" has been retained by their colonial descendants. This must exacerbate the immigration problem - few opportunities for social/economic advancement.