Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2755

Full Length Research Paper

HIV-related knowledge and condom use by taxi drivers in Southern St. Lucia, West Indies

R. O. Orisatoki1 and O. O. Oguntibeju2*
1Department of Medical Physiology, School of Medicine, Spartan Health Sciences University, Vieux Fort, Saint Lucia, West Indies. 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville, South Africa.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 October 2009
  •  Published: 28 February 2010

Abstract

Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is increasingly becoming a major public health issue in the Caribbean. Despite the threat posed by the rapid spread of the virus, many subgroups of the populations continue to engage in risky sexual behaviours. HIV among the taxi drivers is a concern because these men belong to an occupational group whose lifestyle while on duty have made them to be identified as highly susceptible. This study was done among male taxi drivers that operate at a major airport in St. Lucia. Out of 80 questionnaires distributed, 60 were filled showing a response rate of 75%. The knowledge of HIV/AIDS was high among the drivers (78.3%). However, misconceptions still exist among them. Less than half of the respondents use condom consistently. Constraints to the affordability and availability of condoms were identified. Religious belief was identified as a possible factor in non-usage of condom. Steps need to be taken to educate this occupational group in order to modify their sexual behaviours. It is suggested that government should endeavour to make condoms more affordable and accessible to this subgroup of the population.

 

Key words: HIV/AIDS, knowledge, condom use, taxi drivers, St. Lucia.