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AIDS. 2008 Dec;22 Suppl 5:S81-90. doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000343766.00573.15.

Risk behaviour, sexually transmitted infections and HIV among long-distance truck drivers: a cross-sectional survey along national highways in India.

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  • 1National Institute of Medical Statistics, Indian Council of Medical Research, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India. arvindpandey@vsnl.net



To report HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence and sexual behaviour of long-distance truckers on four national highway routes from a large, cross-sectional, national-level trucker survey in India.


Seven trans-shipment locations covering the bulk of India's transport volume along four routes, north-west (NW), north-south (NS), north-east (NE) and south-east (SE) were identified as survey sites. A total of 2066 long-distance truckers were selected using a two-stage, time-location cluster sampling approach and, after consent, interviewed about their sexual behaviour. Urine and blood sample were tested for selected STIs.


Overall, HIV prevalence among truckers was found to be 4.6%, with prevalence highest on the SE route (6.8%) and lowest on the NS (2.4%). Positive HSV-2 serology, which was tested in a 10% subsample, was low along three routes, 10.0%, 12.8% and 6.7% for the NE, NS and NW, respectively, but 38.7% in the SE. The truckers from the SE were found to be more likely to have sex with paid partners than the NE route. Moreover, truckers who owned their trucks were more likely than those who did not use condoms consistently with paid partners, and truckers who drive trucks owned by their relatives/friends are more likely than others to have any STI.


Low self-risk perception for HIV (9.9%), low consistent condom use with non-paid partners (18.6%) and wives (3%), low reported exposure to any interventions (25.6%) and low levels of ever having taken an HIV test (16.5%) make truckers an important bridge population requiring strengthened interventions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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