Truckers Town Intervention Project
Targetted Intervention on STI and HIV/AIDS among Truckers and Helpers in Namakkal District.
With the support of AIDS prevention and Control Project (APAC) - VHS-USAID this HIV/AIDS intervention project for truckers and Women in Prostitution (WIPs). With the profound high risk groups in the District of Namakkal were carried out in the 10 km radius of Namakkal Town from April 2003- September 2008.
The truckers and the Female Sex Workers (FSWs) were given awareness on STD/HIV/AIDS through one to one and one to group meet by the social workers. The target groups were given counselling by the trained counsellors. Four counselling cum exhibition centres were run by WORD in Namakkal town. Safer sex behaviours, correct and consistent usage of condoms, Treatment seeking behaviours, early identification of STD, Treatment, Partner and Full course of treatment are being emphasized for truckers and women in prostitution (WIPs).
Frequent Behavioural change communication (BCC) events by the means of street plays, audio & video shows were held in the vantage places where the truck crews and other allied industry workers and the common people can get to know the exact information on STD/HIV/AIDS.; Communication Campaigns have also undertaken with wall-painting, glow as sign boxes, auto-sticker campaign, posters,handbills and through other relevant materials and distributing of various innovative IEC/BCC materials.
Identification and promotion of peer educators were also an integral part of the program. This includes intensive training for them, conducting district level and state level conventions for peer educators to strengthen the network among the peer educators at the district and state level and to ensure the respectability to the peer educators, appreciate and recognize their work; to improve the quality of services rendered by peer educators; to create a platform to brief about their work, to exhibit the best practices and to analyze the problems faced by them and to find out the practical solutions. Periodical Medical Check ups for WIPS were held at regular intervals.
Condom promotion through strengthening the traditional outlets; Identifying and promoting non traditional outlets and intensive training for the condom retailers are being given. Under this program, the AMP/APP/RIMP Doctors, ANMs, Pharmacists were trained in STD and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Program. A good referral network established with them for STD referral and to get proper treatment for the sexually transmitted infections and thereby reduce the vulnerability of HIV/AIDS. This include the association with Namakkal Taluk Lorry Owners Association, Namakkal Body Builders Association, Indian Medical Association- Namakkal Branch, Ashok Leyland Driver Training Institute- Vallipuram, Namakkal, Namakkal All Motors Workshop Owners Association, Regional Transport Office (RTO)-Namakkal, Department of Health and the District Collectorate, Namakkal.