|Sexual practices, myths and misconceptions among long distance truck drivers in North India|
|Scritto da QJM|
Background: Long distance truck drivers and helpers constitute a high risk group for human immunodeficiency virus /acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Despite increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS and safe sex practices, they still have a high incidence of new cases of HIV.
Aims: This study carried out at an ART (anti-retroviral treatment) centre in North India aimed to evaluate the sexual myths and misconceptions prevalent among long distance drivers and helpers.
Design: This was a retrospective study carried out at apex ART centre.
Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from ART records of 129 long distance Truck drivers and 68 helpers. Details of socio-demographic characteristics, contact with commercial sex workers (CSW’S), pattern of condom usage with CSW’S and factors influencing it were studied.
Results: We found that a significant number of drivers and helpers had sexual contact with CSW’s and out of these, 30% of drivers and 50% of helpers reported not using condoms and instead resorting to methods like washing genitalia after sex with battery water/urine to avoid getting HIV. There was no significant relationship between pattern of condom usage and educational status, marital status and age. We also found that certain myths like sex with young CSW’s was less likely to cause sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and HIV were also widespread.
Conclusion: Owing to continuing prevalence of such sexual myths, long distance truck drivers and helpers do not use condoms while having sex with CSW’s as they feel that they can enjoy sex with CSW’s and still stay protected against STD’s/HIV. It is imperative that this battery water/urine antiseptic myth be specifically targeted for better HIV control in this high risk group.