Publication: Taming HIV/AIDS on Africa's Roads

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Lema, Antoine
Brushett, Stephen
Lewi, Negede
Riverson, John
Siele, Silue
Findings of international studies of the HIV/AIDS pandemic at work places suggest that, the transport sector is a major vector for the disease. The reason is simple. People working in the transport sector are mobile, they spend weeks and months away from their families and their homes and many satisfy their sexual needs "on the road." Migration, short-term or long-term, increases opportunities for sexual relationships with multiple partners, transforming transport routes to critical links in the propagation of HIV/AIDS. International studies also suggest that long-haul truck drivers are the highest risk group in the road sector. Clearly, social capital is at risk. In Africa, studies assessing the relationship between transport and HIV/AIDS are still partial and embryonic. Yet, situational analyses undertaken to date suggest that HIV/AIDS has become a major threat to the social capital of the transport sector and to transport operations, but few actions are taken to address the insurgence of the pandemic. Nonetheless, investing adequately in combating HIV/AIDS in Africa is now a precondition for all other development investments to succeed. The transport sector faces four major challenges: 1) Reduction of social capital 2) Poor safeguard policies addressing HIV/AIDS at work places 3) Absence of standard HIV/AIDS clauses in works contracts 4) Limited sector analytical work on HIV/AIDS. These challenges can be addressed. Committed leadership, continuous dialogue with clients, and strategic partnerships could make a difference.
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Lema, Antoine; Brushett, Stephen; Lewi, Negede; Riverson, John; Siele, Silue. 2004. Taming HIV/AIDS on Africa's Roads. Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs; No. 236. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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