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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[1]. Clearly, social capital is at risk.

The Route to Good Living - HIV prevention in the Transport Sector 

Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in Transport Projects
English - French

HIV/AIDS Assessment in
Transport Projects:
English - French

aids bus

In Africa, studies assessing the relationship between transport and HIV/AIDS are still partial and embryonic. Yet, situational analyses undertaken to date show that HIV/AIDS has negative effect on both the performance of transport operations and the communities they touch. Failing to respond  and contain HIV/AIDS in the transport sector, either nationally or sub-regionally,  has implications for other sectors, and more broadly, national  and Africa wide development agendas,  Keep in mind that Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 67% of all people with HIV—roughly 22 million in our Region--and 75% of the estimated 2 million global HIV-related deaths each year.  An estimated 1.9 million people are newly infected in Sub-Saharan Africa., and most of those infected are adults in their primary productive years, whether skilled or unskilled workers, parents, or caregivers.  The roughly 12 million orphans and vulnerable children, infected or affected by the virus is expected to grow as well.  Aware of the magnitude of the problem and the window of opportunity to be proactive, SSATP engaged its partners in policy discussions, collaborative programs, and projects, by raising the issue and providing concrete support to deal with HIV/AIDS in a sectoral context. The most recent reflection of this engagement is the new pamphlet "The Route to Good Living, an Overview of Roles and Responsibilities for HIV Prevention Strategies in Transport Sector Projects" prepared by the Africa Transport Sector of the World Bank. It is designed to help stakeholders involved in the road transport sector integrate and implement HIV/AIDS prevention activities in the road construction process, including World Bank task teams and staff, governments, multilateral and bilateral donors, technical assistance agencies, contractors, and civil society organizations  incorporate HIV/AIDS components in transport projects. The pamphlet is a “living guideline”, one which will be updated as new evidence and experience dictates.

This new publication complements work done by the SSATP over the last 6 years. in 2003 was produced  Taming HIV/AIDS on Africa's Roads, a widely shared and used document by national authorities. In 2004, SSATP put forward  the need to address HIV/AIDS in regional corridors overseen by the African Regional Economic Community Transport Coordination Committee (REC-TCC, in the context of  the SSATP Long-Term Development Plan. SSATP is now embarking on its Second Development Plan (DP2), with one of the expected results support to the private sector and civil society organizations involved in fighting HIV/AIDS along transport corridors. For the first time, during its 2008 annual meeting, the REC-TCC  decided to include an HIV/AIDS activity to be implemented under the DP2, which will (I) increase synergies with sub-regional organizations already involved in HIV/AIDS activities, such as the highly successful Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO) which was initiated by the World Bank and has been supported by both other donors and the six countries, and (ii) support to the Federation of Eastern and Southern African Road Transport Associations (FESARTA) in its effort to monitor and  plans to scale up its “Wellness Centers”, which are  combinations of health clinic and educational facilities using converted shipping containers located at "hot spots" along major corridors. (13 such centers have been established in South Africa). While much has been done, there is much for the transport sector to do in contributing to the fight against HIV/AIDS, both to achieve better transport sector investment results, as well as meeting the challenge of the 6th Millennium Development Goal “to have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

[1] See Giraud, P. (1993), The Impact of AIDS at the Sectoral Level, in Blom, DE and Lyons JV (eds), The Economics of the Implications of AIDS in Asia, UNDP, New Delhi, and Marcus T. (1997), Interpreting the risk of AIDS: A Case Study of Long Distance Truck Driver's, in Development Southern Africa, Vol. 14, No.3. See also the series AIDS BRIEF for Sectoral Planners and Managers.  

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