Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
VILLARINHO, Luciana et al. Vulnerability to HIV and AIDS of short distance truck drivers stationed, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.4, suppl., pp. 61-67. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102002000500009.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the vulnerability to sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS of short distance truck drivers. METHODS: Using a snowball sampling procedure, 279 truck drivers working in the port area and vicinities, unions and workers' associations of Santos, Brazil, were selected and interviewed. Face-to-face interviews were carried out using open and closed questions covered demographic characteristics, sexual practices, drug use, knowledge of HIV and AIDS, previous contact with HIV prevention programs, and perception of their vulnerability to HIV and Aids. A descriptive analysis was carried out and reports are presented to illustrate some scenarios of vulnerability. RESULTS: Of all 279 truck drivers interviewed, 93% had a stable female partner, 40% engaged in casual sexual with female partners, and 19% said to have sex with other regular partners. Vulnerability to HIV is increased by inconsistent condom use in all categories of sexual partners. Long periods away from home seem not to be the only factor for their vulnerability to HIV as seen in studies on long distance truck drivers. CONCLUSIONS: The macho culture and traditional male behaviors are prominently seen among truck drivers. There is a need of investing more on prevention in this professional group. Prevention programs at the work environment seem to be a promising strategy, since it allows a better understanding of the workers' setting and development of customized educational interventions.
Keywords : Men; Vulnerability; Knowledge, attitudes, practice; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [prevention & control]; HIV; Transportation; Sex behavior; Perception; Risk factors; HIV infections [prevention & control]; Truck drivers.