Chinese Group Launches HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign Targeting Truck Drivers
The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation last weekend dispatched a motorcade of more than 20 vehicles to promote HIV/AIDS prevention among truck drivers in China's Beijing, Hebei and Shandong provinces, China Daily/China.org reports. The volunteers dispensed informational posters, leaflets, condoms and syringes at highway service zones and toll stations along truck routes. Tang Wei, a vice director of the project, said that some service stations along the highways have posters with HIV/AIDS information and that condoms often are unavailable at the stations.
Many long-distance truck drivers are men who are sexually active while away from their spouses for extended periods, according to Hua Ke, the foundation's director. "They are highly mobile and often use prostitutes and take drugs, which puts them at risk of contracting the deadly disease," Hua said, adding, "Worse still, due to poor education and limited access to information, these men know little about HIV/AIDS, let alone how to prevent it. That's the reason we targeted them with this project."
Hua said the project will be extended during the next five years to reach key truck routes across the country. The Chinese Ministry of Health estimates there are 650,000 HIV-positive people in the country (China Daily/China.org, 9/25).