The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3073.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 6

Abstract #62640

HIV/AIDS prevention among transport workers: Lessons learned from peer education programs in Ethiopia

Mengistu Asnake, MD, MPH and Metiku Woldegiorgis, MD. Pathfinder International-Ethiopia Office, 9 Galen Street, Suite 217, Watertown, MA 02472, 617-924-7200,

Middle and long-distance transport workers, including bus, truck, and train operators, and their partners, including wives, boy assistants, commercial sex workers, and “sweethearts,” are particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Transport workers are often away from their families, highly mobile, largely unreached by health services, and may have multiple sexual partners.

In order to address the increased vulnerability of transport workers and their partners to HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia, Pathfinder supports two innovative prevention programs in Addis Ababa and towns along major transportation routes (such as the Ethiopia-Djibouti route). Peer educators at bus, truck, and train stations deliver STI/HIV/AIDS prevention messages through megaphones, stereos, and on an individual basis. They distribute educational brochures, cassettes, and condoms to drivers, assistants, and passengers. Pathfinder, through its implementing partners, also trains field workers at transport stopovers between major cities. Field workers provide STI/HIV/AIDS prevention information, referrals, and condoms along the routes to complement the work of peer educators in central locations.

In one year, over 86,000 condoms, 34,000 leaflets and brochures, and 600 cassettes were distributed through the program. Peer educators and field workers reached 52,000 drivers and thousands of assistants and passengers with prevention information. At the policy level, the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce supports groups of peer educators and the Federal Road Transport Authority established a national committee to oversee HIV/AIDS activities. Pathfinder’s peer education approach to HIV/AIDS prevention in the transport sector can serve as a model for other organizations working to decrease the effects of HIV/AIDS on this highly vulnerable group.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

New Developments in Reproductive Health Programs

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA