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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 137  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1061-1071

Contact with HIV prevention programmes & willingness for new interventions among truckers in India

1 Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India
2 University of Chicago, Department of Medicine & Department of Health Studies, Chicago, USA
3 Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India; Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
4 Department of Microbiology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, India
5 Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Rakhi Dandona
Addl. Professor, Public Health Foundation of India, ISID campus, 4 Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23852287

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Background & objectives: Systematic data on existing coverage and willingness for HIV prevention strategies among truckers are not readily available in India. The present study aimed to further the understanding on contact of truckers with existing HIV prevention services and to assess willingness for new HIV prevention strategies. Methods: A total of 1,800 truck drivers and helpers aged 16-65 yr passing through Hyderabad were approached to assess contact made with HIV prevention programmes, history of previous HIV testing and their acceptance for circumcision, oral HIV testing, new medications to control HIV (PrEP) and telephonic counselling. Dried blood samples were collected on filter paper and tested for HIV. Multiple logistic regression was performed for analysis of association between contact with HIV prevention programme and socio-demographic, sexual risk behaviour variables and work characteristics. Results: A total of 1,602 (89%) truckers gave interview and provided blood sample. Forty five truckers tested positive for HIV resulting in HIV prevalence of 2.8 per cent (95% CI 2.0-3.6%). Only 126 truckers (7.9%; 95% CI 6.5-9.2%) reported ever being contacted by staff providing HIV prevention interventions. Previous HIV testing was reported by19 per cent (95% CI 17.3-21.2%). Those reporting contact with HIV prevention programmes ever were more likely to have undergone HIV testing (odds ratio 3.6, 95% CI 2.4-5.4). The acceptance for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was 87 per cent, oral HIV testing 98 per cent, and telephonic counselling 82 per cent, but was only 9 per cent for circumcision.Truckers who reported having sex with a man and those who halted regularly at dhabas were significantly more willing to undergo circumcision for HIV prevention (odds ratios 2.7, 95% CI 1.4-5.4 and 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.2, respectively). Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed that truckers had low contact with HIV prevention programmes, suggesting a need for urgent measures to reach this population more effectively. The willingness for new HIV interventions was high except for circumcision. These findings could be used for further planning of HIV prevention programmes for truckers in India.

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