Citizenship, Statelessness, and Structural Vulnerability to HIV

Stephanie Koning, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Amanda L. Flaim, Cornell University
David Feingold, Ophidian Research Institute

While the majority of the world’s population claims citizenship in at least one nation-state, millions of people worldwide are stateless. We use an unprecedented survey of households on the Thailand-Myanmar border to investigate the connection between citizenship status and accurate HIV knowledge acquisition. This region comprises the diverse highland minority population, many of whom lack citizenship and experience high HIV prevalence (up to 5-8%). We hypothesize that parent citizenship status positively affects adults’ acquisition of accurate HIV knowledge partially through their elevated education and Thai language attainment. We, however, anticipate that parents’ lack of citizenship also introduces additional structural barriers to acquiring accurate HIV knowledge by limiting stateless individuals’ access to knowledge that is typically available through the social networks, physical mobility, and worker rights granted by citizenship. We use staged regressions to identify the potential effects of parental citizenship on knowledge and to test the potential mechanisms at play.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality