Africa Asia Middle East عربي Français free subscription IRIN Site Map RSS find PlusNews on facebook follow PlusNews on twitter
PlusNews
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Sunday 19 December 2010
 
Home 
Africa 
Blog 
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Events 
Most read 
 
Print report Share |
SOMALIA: High-risk truckers still unaware of HIV


Photo: MAJ/IRIN
Condoms are not part pf the government's prevention policy
HARGEISA, 26 March 2010 (PlusNews) - The truck drivers who criss-cross Somalia are considered at high risk of HIV, but incomplete prevention messages mean they are ill-equipped to protect themselves against the virus.

"The highest risk of disease spreading can come from the drivers who are going from town to town, deep in Somalia to Puntland [autonomous region in the northeast of Somalia] all the way to south-central Somalia and coming back to Somaliland," Hassan Omar Hagga, director of training at the Somaliland AIDS Commission (SOLNAC) secretariat, told IRIN/PlusNews.

He noted that border towns were of particular concern.

"In Tog-wajale [Somalia-Ethiopia border town] there are sex workers, but we do not recommend the use of condoms because we are a Muslim state," he said. "For this reason we can't urge people to use condoms; on the contrary, we tell people to give up adultery."

As a result of this policy, truck drivers and sex workers often hold misconceptions about condoms and as such, rarely use them.

"We do not use condoms at all, but sometimes we use plastic bags," said Karshe Gele*, a truck driver in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa. "We consider that condoms are the carriers [of HIV].

" We know that it [HIV] is transmitted through sexual intercourse, but we think that [prevalence] is not much in Somaliland," he added.

''We do not use condoms at all, but sometimes we use plastic bags''
HIV prevalence in Somaliland has risen from about 0.9 percent in 1999 to 1.3 percent in 2007, according to Said Ahmed Abdi Mouse, communication and awareness officer for SOLNAC.

"We have made tangible [progress] against HIV-related stigma compared with 1999, when it was a shock to talk about HIV/AIDS publicly, but still stigma and limited education about the disease exist in the country, particularly in remote areas," SOLNAC's Hagga added.

* Not his real name

maj/kr/mw


Theme(s): (PLUSNEWS) Education, (PLUSNEWS) HIV/AIDS (PlusNews), (PLUSNEWS) Prevention - PlusNews, (PLUSNEWS) Urban Risk

[ENDS]

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report Share |
Countries
FREE Subscriptions
Your e-mail address:


Submit your request
Socialize
 More on Somalia
29/Nov/2010
SOMALIA: Baby steps towards a PMTCT programme
24/Nov/2010
HIV/AIDS: MSM groups hail pill to prevent HIV
14/Oct/2010
HIV/AIDS: Global Fund looks to private sector to fill funding gap
14/Oct/2010
HEALTH: New global plan aims to wipe out TB
08/Oct/2010
HIV/AIDS: IRIN/PlusNews Weekly Issue 506, 8 October 2010
 More on Education
14/Dec/2010
UGANDA: "Sexual network" campaign lacking, says study
06/Dec/2010
ETHIOPIA: HIV risk in a booming construction industry
23/Nov/2010
UGANDA: Ssenga Bernadette Nabatanzi, "We used to put premature babies in underground holes"
22/Nov/2010
ZIMBABWE: Drop in condom use following HIV prevention trial
18/Nov/2010
EAST AFRICA: CEOs lead by example, take public HIV tests
 Most Read 
SRI LANKA: Princey Mangalika: "My neighbours burned my house because they thought I had HIV"
SOUTH AFRICA: Nurses step into ART breach
SOUTH AFRICA: Sihle Motha, "You have this person's life in your hands"
HIV/AIDS: IRIN/PlusNews weekly news and analysis round-up Issue 516 for 17 December 2010
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Film & TV | Photo | Radio | Live news map | E-mail subscription
Feedback · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Jobs · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2010
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.