An appraisal of sexual behaviors, STI/HIV prevalence, and HIV prevention programs among truckers in India: A critical literature review

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: A systematic review portraying the changing pattern of sexual behaviors, STI and HIV prevalence and key strategies curb HIV and STI among truckers in India is lacking. This paper therefore aims to present a chronological review of literature regarding sexual behaviors, STI/HIV prevalence, and various HIV prevention programs implemented among truckers in India. Methodology: Published and unpublished studies (1990–2011) were identified through electronic databases, and hand searching. Results: Most studies on sexual behaviors and STI/HIV prevalence among truckers focused only on drivers and ignored their helpers. Evidences suggest that consistent condom use by truckers with both paid and non-paid female partners has increased during the past decade. Many recent studies suggest that the HIV prevalence among truckers is about 2% and it has been declining slowly during the past decade. The HIV prevention programs among truckers which started with the aim of raising awareness about HIV during early 1990s, have grown multi-folds to encompass not only the standard strategies like mid-media events, interpersonal counselling and STI care for HIV prevention, but also innovations such as the use of business franchisee models, and integrated research and evidence based planning in the program. The possibilities of using new approaches such as male circumcision and the use of pre-exposure prophylaxes are underway. Conclusion: More studies are needed to explore helpers’ vulnerabilities to HIV. Very few studies have attempted to examine the impact of large-scale prevention programs among truckers. Efforts are required to examine the impact of different components of such programs to guide the HIV prevention efforts among truckers in India.