Prevalence of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among truckers and helpers (TH) is 10 times higher than in the general population. TH are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviour that makes them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV. This paper aims to comprehend the trends in knowledge, risk behaviours, reported STIs and associated factors among TH over 12 years. Data from 12 rounds of Behavioural Surveillance Surveys (BSS) conducted since 1997 were used. A sample of 800 TH in the ratio of 70:30 was included from 5 districts of Tamil Nadu in all the 12 rounds. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data. The surveys indicated a higher knowledge level, but reported a lower level of knowledge without misconception. Sex with paid partners increased from 26.5 to 45.1%. But, other factors such as decreasing number of paid partners (from an average of 8 to 4), increasing consistent condom use (CCU) (44.8 to 85.6%), and treatment seeking behaviour indicate positive protective trends. Low level of knowledge without misconception and self-risk perception are prime concerns. As TH are potential and vulnerable bridge population, it is vital to have intensive HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) interventions among them.
Key words: Sexual risk behaviour, condom usage, human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), sexually transmitted infections
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