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Truck drivers at high risk of ‘AIDS’

Saturday - July 14, 2018 11:15 am , Category : HEALTH


(WTN) It is generally believed and accepted in India that truck drivers are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to contracting AIDS. Several times campaigns and awareness programmes have been taken up by NGOs and AIDS control bodies to teach truckers the right practices on the road so that they are less risk of getting the deadly infection.

Some gains have been made and the numbers of drivers getting AIDS have reduced. But the reduction is not drastic or huge. Lack of awareness is still widespread. No campaign or educative module has been sustained for long and the results recorded. Truckers travel the length and breadth of the country on wheels meeting diverse people and experiencing diverse cultural drifts.

They invade unchartered terrains and traverse inhospitable roads and climate. They are away from their home and family for months in the end. This leaves them craving and lusting for the company.

They need a support for their biological and psychological necessities and thus fall prey to the traps of licentiousness. It is not that all are equally given to profligacy, yet there is a prominent culture in the circle to associate with multiple partners to satiate the sexual needs when out of home for long. This is a general trend across the world – in most societies, men staying alone away from home for long periods, do tend to get swayed away by the extraneous charms.

But since most of our truckers are uneducated and ill-informed, the dangers quadruple. Poverty and illiteracy along with trafficking make girls an easily available commodity to those who are in want.

Well, connected pimps operate organized businesses out of this and truckers are easy targets to be lured. They have the money and the intention and where there is demand, supply flows in. The roots of the social evil run deep and the operations are intricate, where even the police and politicians are involved.

 But let alone the moral degradation of such a prevailing system portends, what is an immediate crisis is the spread of AIDS. AIDS spreads fast through sexual contact with multiple partners and unsafe sex is a major cause of worry.

Contraceptives are in any case the least used in India and this is more so when it comes to truck drivers. Promiscuity cannot be stopped because it is a clandestine affair but at least if the partners are made aware of the dangers of unsafe sex and take the basic precautions to avoid possibilities of AIDS and STDs, that could be a major step towards mitigating the spread of the disease. This has not happened in any big way in the country.

Many truckers are also into substance abuse and free sharing of needles among multiple partners can also lead to the rapid transmitting of the disease in a vast group. The truck drivers must be subject to regular screening and mandatory certification of their fitness from time to time. They must be encouraged to adopt the right and healthy practices through counseling.

 Medical checks can be easily set up at interstate toll gates etc. and those found unfit or into unsavory practices must be barred from their occupation or given the warning to mend their ways in violation of which their license would be canceled or held back. Such drastic measures are the need of the hour to stem the spread and penetration of the disease. - Window To News
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