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P4.052 Low Level of Awareness Leading to Stigma Towards Persons With HIV/AIDS
  1. A Muhammad
  1. Global Funds/TB Control Program, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract

Aim HIV thrives among mobile populations. Truck drivers particularly the long distance truck drivers are more vulnerable to HIV infection, because they travel a lot, remain cut off from the mainstream society, often engage in activities such as having unsafe sex with commercial sex workers and fellow crew members, in order to reduce their loneliness.

Methods In this study Interviews of 75 truck drivers at Badami Bagh Truck Stand, Lahore, Pakistan, were carried out on non-random basis, using convenient sampling technique through a structured questionnaire The objective was to assess link between level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the attitude towards persons with AIDS.

Results 50% of the truck drivers were found unaware about the role of needles as a means of spreading HIV/AIDS. 30–40% thought that needles had nothing to do with the transmission of AIDS. Forty to fifty percent of respondents had the misconception that AIDS can be contracted by casual contact and by being in the same room with a person with AIDS. Two third of the truck drivers were of the view that monogamy and condom use is an effective method for AIDS prevention. An association between low knowledge of AIDS and high negative attitude towards persons with AIDS was found to exist, which was statistically significant.

Conclusion Long distance truck drivers in Pakistan have serious gaps in their knowledge about HIV/AIDS, especially its modes of transmission, signs/symptoms and prevention. Stigma towards persons with AIDS also exists due to Low level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Stigma
  • Truckers

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