Truck drivers are highest HIV/AIDs transmitters – report

Dr Nelson Musoba, the Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission. Photo | Esther Bridget Nakalya

A high risk of HIV prevalence has been registered among truck drivers in the country. According to the findings by the Ministry of Health, the HIV prevalence rate among these groups is beyond the national average.

Dr Nelson Musoba, the Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission said: “There is a high risk among vulnerable groups such as sex workers, truck drivers, gay men, and those in incarcerated settings between 15 and 20 per cent with the national average for HIV prevalence at 5.4 per cent.”

While making remarks at the launch of the North Star Alliance strategic plan in Kampala on Tuesday, Dr Musoba, the Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission pointed out the need to have more interventions in areas of key populations or such vulnerable groups.

“Their lifestyle and engagement make it easy for them to pass on the virus,” he said.

The North Star five-year strategic plan seeks to address and make considerable contributions to cross-border health by making it easy to access services such as HIV testing, get refills for pills, and accessing preventive tools such as condoms in pursuit to cover HIV response.

Mr Vincent Oketcho, a member of the national board at North Star Alliance, Uganda said: “Our goal keeping the supply chain safe and healthy. We intend to focus on the main areas of cross-border health, the mobile community on the transport corridor, research and innovation.”

While addressing the challenges in providing health services to the mobile community, he outlined the role of community outreaches in retaining these groups in care and treatment while they are on the move.

Mr Bernard Kadasia, president of the supervisory board of North Star Alliance said: “We have a data system that tracks them along the road and also carry out counselling and sensitisation where we train sex workers on preventives.”