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Lagos HIV agency joins regional fight against scourge

03 July 2014, 08:28

Lagos - The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA) is partnering with other West African countries to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence in the region.

This follows a study to determine HIV prevalence among truckers in the sub-region.

The study measures knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) among each target group at Abidjan, Tema, Lome, Cotonou and Apapa Ports.
The study, which was conducted in parking lots serving the five deep water ports of the corridor and dry ports within 20km of the ports, was also used to disseminate  information on HIV Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance Survey to the public.

Presenting the report to the public at the Lagos State Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the project supervisor in Lagos, Michael Essien, stated that the rationale behind the study was as a result of the major roads and borders crossing which helped in accelerating the transmission of the virus due to the high mobility of people, goods and services between the countries.
He added that the Abidjan-Lagos corridor served major economic cities of the five West Africa countries of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.

The 1 022km-long corridor served resident population of about 30 million people and encountered traffic of nearly 47million people in transit per year.
The truck drivers, according to him, represented 51,4 percent of all truckers.

Their median age was 28 years with the youngest being 15 years old and oldest 80 years old. Minors under 21 years constituted 16,6 percent.

It emerged 45,percent of the truckers  drank alcohol and one trucker out of ten uses drugs.

"Therefore, there was need to intensify HIV Counseling and Testing among the groups," Essien concluded.

- CAJ News

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