This information booklet is meant for instructors who train truck drivers at special training institutions and is a useful source of information about HIV/AIDS and Gender, is used to raise awareness and motivate change.
Truck drivers are very important to the country as road transport is the back bone of our economy. It is important to learn how to act responsibly towards one’s family and the society. The Instructor, as a key resource person, needs to play a crucial role in imparting information about risks of HIV/AIDS to truck drivers thereby enabling them to protect themselves and their family.
The booklet begins with describing how an instructor should approach the sensitive topic while educating the truck drivers. The Instructors on the first hand, should have a positive view and be informed on issues of health, development, gender and sexuality, and feel comfortable in dealing with such topics, so that it will be easier for them to create a supportive climate, among the truck drivers and to answer questions. They have to be realistic and try to find linkages in the drivers’ daily lives to the information the instructors give to them. Being non-judgmental and giving due respect for the views of the truck drivers, the instructors become more personal in their communications and are able to impart the fact, that the truck drivers are the most essential and ultimate to their family members.
When a truck driver is affected by HIV/AIDS, the consequences are many in his personal, family and public life. He ceases to become an active earner of the family and has to be hospitalized. The burden falls on the shoulders of his wife and children who are disrupted from their routine in several ways. If young, their studies are profoundly affected. The stigma which is attached to the particular person and his family members is very unlikely and causes a very deep negative expression in the minds of the members of his family especially women.
As a next step confidence is inculcated among the drivers’ minds to become peer educators. Their knowledge about HIV/AIDS, family values, and women would be a source of information for many other people, who can change their life pattern and be a responsible member of the family.
The instructors are advised to stress the greater vulnerability of the drivers’ wives. When a man is infected, he in turn can pass on the infection to his spouse and this in turn can affect the unborn child as well, if protection is not used. The responsibility of a husband here is of great importance.
HIV/AIDS positive persons and their families need support to deal with stigma and discrimination from their own society. Women and girls mostly the heaviest burden as wives of HIV-positive husbands, as they have to do most of the caring within the household. The more people know about HIV the more it will reduce the fear and negative attitude towards people living with HIV.
Positive people need to be protected from discrimination by employers, co-workers, unions or clients. Employees should not be required to inform their employers about the infection. If good information and education about AIDS is available to employees, a climate of understanding may develop in the workplace protecting the rights of the HIV-infected person.
The Indian government’s AIDS control programme offers new treatment for the prevention of parent-to-child transmission, PPTCT.
The booklets share numerous ways of interacting with the truck drivers, like asking them to answer the questionnaires, clearing the myths and unbelievable stories from their minds, establishing the facts, stressing the enormity of HIV/AIDS and impossibility of totally curing the patient, the need to respect a person affected by the ailment, depicting the ruins of HIV/AIDS through simple illustrations and stories, the precautions, and the inevitable consequences of violation of the norms and values of their family and society. The Booklet stresses on safety measures for the truck drivers while driving, as avoiding drinking while driving, overloading the vehicle, using dipper while driving at night, to mention a few. The names of several information centers help lines, clinics and hospitals have been provided in this booklet and pocket booklet.
New Concept had designed, illustrated and printed the UNIFEM booklet. New Concept also designed, illustrated and printed a small version of the pocket booklet which had explanations on HIV/AIDS and valuable guidance and tips for truck drivers to prevent the disease. Hindi versions of both the booklets were also made.
Website - UN Women
Documents - HIV/AIDS - Information Booklet for Training Instructors of Truck Drivers
HIV/AIDS - Information Booklet for Truck Drivers