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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 273-277

Sexual practices, risk perception and HIV self-testing acceptability among long-distance truck drivers in Ekiti State, Nigeria


1 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adekunle Olatayo Adeoti
College of Medicine, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_618_21

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Background: HIV/AIDS is a global health challenge with a high burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Long-distance drivers are a high-risk group whose assessment of HIV status, awareness and willingness to undergo HIV self-testing (HIVST) could help prevent the spread of HIV infections. Objective: This study examined the sexual practices, risk perception and HIVST acceptability among long-distance truck drivers in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among long-distance truck drivers between September 2019 and December 2019. A semi-structured questionnaire was designed to investigate the perceived sexual risk factors and willingness to undergo HIVST. Results: Of the 306 drivers that participated in the study, almost half (49.8%) had their first sexual experience before they turned 18 years. About one-third (38.6%) had multiple sex partners and (34.0%) patronised commercial sex workers in the past 6 months. Consistent use of condoms was reported in a negligible percentage (3.0%), while 7.4% used intravenous drugs. Two-thirds of the respondents were interested in HIVST, while 32.2% knew their HIV status. Significant factors associated with multiple sex partners were the duration of working as a long-distance truck driver and patronage of sex workers. Conclusion: A significant proportion of the long-distance drivers were engaged in unsafe sexual practices and are at risk for HIV transmission. Considering the mobile nature of the long-distance drivers, the risky practices of these workers require intense advocacy, testing and treatment to reduce HIV transmission. Scaling-up testing using HIVST has the potential to bridge the gap in the diagnosis of HIV among long-distance drivers who are willing to be tested.


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