Sexual Behaviour, HIV-Related Knowledge and Condom Use by Intra-City Commercial Bus Drivers and Motor Park Attendants in Lagos, Nigeria

E. E. Ekanem, B M Afolabi, A O Nuga, S B Adebajo

Abstract

A study was undertaken among 395 intra-city commercial bus drivers, conductors and motor park attendants in a sub-urban community in Lagos, Nigeria. It was aimed at ascertaining the level of knowledge of the participants on sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS, their sexual practices and perceived vulnerability to these diseases and, in particular, their attitude to and use of condoms. A semi-structured interview schedule was used for data collection. The men were found to have a strongly woven network of sexual relationships. Their sexual network included, apart from their wives and regular partners, commercial sex workers, young female hawkers, schoolgirls, and market women within and outside the motor parks. More than two thirds (74.3%) of the men had multiple sex partners and many of them had had sexually transmitted diseases at one time or another. Condom ever-use rate was 65.6% but consistent and regular use rate with casual partners was 11.6%. Almost all the respondents (96.4%) knew themselves to be at high risk of contracting STDs, while 87.6% felt that it was impossible for them to "catch" AIDS. Poor knowledge of risk factors for STDs was exhibited, as many of them attributed their previous STDs to excessive exposure to the sun, having sex in the sun, and their partners remaining in the bath for too long. Intra-city commercial bus operators and men at motor parks are a high risk group for acquiring HIV infection. Their sexual networking with a variety of women within and outside the parks also seems to suggest that they play a major role in transmitting HIV infection in urban communities in Nigeria. There is a need for intervention programmes with a focus on men at motor parks and similar high risk groups. (Afr J Reprod Health 2005; 9[1]: 78-87)

 

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, STDs, drivers, condom

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