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Mitigating the Spread of HIV/AIDS

aidsThe global fight against AIDS has seen some promising results in recent years as HIV prevalence rates have decreased in some countries.  Specifically, there is increasing evidence that part of this decline is due to reductions in the number of new infections as a result of behavioral change.  However, the total number of people living with HIV still continues to grow.  According to the UNAIDS/WHO AIDS Epidemic Update (December 2007), over 6800 persons become infected with HIV and over 5700 persons die from AIDS every day, mostly because of inadequate access to HIV prevention and treatment services.

The transport sector can play a role in mitigating the transmission of HIV/AIDS because transport routes as well as the nature and environment of the activities of the sector have been linked to the spread of HIV. Long distance transport operators (truck drivers, sailors, airline pilots, locomotive drivers and construction workers) and road construction workers work long hours away from family, putting them at risk of engaging in risky behavior that will lead to infection. Likewise, the movement of people through the opening of new traffic routes and improved access and mobility (from urban areas to rural areas; between countries; between areas of high and low HIV prevalence) can also contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Some of the highest incidences of HIV/AIDS infection have been found along transport corridors where there is a high turnover of truck drivers, migrant workers and commercial sex workers and local populations living in proximity of roads and transport construction sites. Finally, infection rates are particularly high at border crossings where transport workers can be subject to lengthy delays and both health and workplace services are often especially weak.

 

      Useful Links
 Knowledge base on transport and HIV/AIDS --You can search this list of resources according to the following sub-topics: vulnerability and risk; interventions and stakeholderssurveillance and impactresources 
 Transport against HIV/AIDS: Contribution to World AIDS Day events
 East Asia and Pacific HIV/AIDS website
 Africa Transport and HIV ACTafrica website
 South Asia Transport and HIV AIDS website

 World Bank HIV/AIDS website
 Joint Initiative Video Conference

 




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