Dept. of Health Research Govt. of India
World Health Organization
Name of the Project Prevalence of HIV/STIs and associated risk factors among wives of truck drivers in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India
Principal Investigator Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar
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Funding Agency / Sponsor Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program, NIH, USA
Budget Rs. 17 lakh
Study Period Jan 2009 – Dec 2010
  • Estimate the prevalence of HIV, HSV-2 and STI symptoms among truck drivers and their wives
  • Describe sexual behaviors, knowledge, and risk perception related to HIV/AIDS among truck drivers and their wives
  • Determine partner-specific demographic and behavioral correlates of anal intercourse among truck drivers and their wives
  • Determine the feasibility and acceptability of audio computer-assisted self interviews (ACASI) among poorly literate men and women
Description We conducted a mixed methods cross-sectional survey in Namakkal district of the state of Tamil Nadu in south India. Fifteen couples participated in the qualitative in-depth interviews. The quantitative study was conducted among 486 wives and 473 truck drivers using color-coded audio computer-assisted self interviews. Blood samples were tested for HIV and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
Quarterly Reports (5-10 lines) We concluded from the study that it is feasible and acceptable to use a computer-assisted interview system for collecting sensitive data from poorly literate, non-English speaking, mostly rural populations of women and men. The HIV prevalence among the trucker couples was higher than the figures for the female antenatal clinic attendees, as per the latest sentinel surveillance report. There was considerable discordance for both HIV and HSV-2 infections between the couples, with higher positivity among the wives suggesting subsequently increased risk to their partners. There is a need to inform the Indian heterosexual population about the greater risk of HIV infection consequent to anal intercourse. Our findings can support the designing and implementation of effective and culturally sensitive interventions for preventing sexually transmitted infections within marriage.
Significant achievements Poster presentation at XIX International AIDS Conference, Washington DC, USA, 22-27 July 2012 [Sexual behaviors and HIV-related issues among truck drivers and their wives: Implications for HIV prevention in South India]
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