Knowledge, attitude, willingness of HIV counseling and testing and factors associated with it, among long distant drivers in Enugu, Nigeria: an opportunity in reduction of HIV prevalence
Background: Long distance truck drivers (LDTDs) have been one of the key forces in the spread of HIV/AIDS across the African continent.
Objective: We set out to assess the knowledge of HIV transmission route, preventive measures, attitude to HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT), willingness and factors associated with willingness to screen for HIV among long distance truck drivers in Enugu, Nigeria.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study of 500 long distance truck drivers aged 19-65 years. They were interviewed with a semi-structured questionnaire on aspects of HCT. Data was analyzed using cross tabulations to examine associations and chi square test for various variables.
Result: A good number of the respondents have wrong ideas of transmission route, ranging from 28.4% to 90.4%. Significantly high number of those with tertiary education will engage in incorrect preventive measures like using antibiotics after sex, and seeking protection from a traditional healer compared to those with no formal education ( χ 2 = 3.2, p = 0.02; χ 2 = 2.3, p = 0.01 respectively).. Those with tertiary education and those that were divorced showed a generally good attitude towards HCT and mostly agreed that HCT should be made compulsory compared to others (χ2 = 29.8, p< 0.001; χ2 = 10.1, p < 0.001 respectively). There was a significantly high willingness to screen among 302 (60.4%) of the participants. There was also significant association between marital status, educational level and willingness to screen ( χ2 = 174.4, p < 0.001; χ2 = 10.6, p < 0.001 respectively).
Conclusion: A high number of LDTD had wrong knowledge of transmission route, better educational level did not affect incorrect knowledge of preventive measures, educational and marital statuses affected attitude to HCT, willingness to screen was high with marital status and educational level significantly associated with it. We recommend routine HCT at the work places of truck drivers to correct the anomalies discovered above.
Keywords: HIV counselling, testing, Nigeria, screening, sub-Saharan Africa, truck drivers, willingness.