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Well-attended HIV/Aids workshop

3 August 2006

About 70 delegates and visitors from more than 25 countries (and five continents) attended the first of two HIV/Aids workshops at Congress today. This high attendance was a good reflection of the commitment and dedication of ITF affiliates to the fight against HIV/Aids and to protect transport workers and their families against the killer disease.

From Harare, Evelyn Serima, HIV/Aids Technical Specialist for the International Labour Organisation outlined the extent of the problem for workers. Afterwards, Asif Altaf, the ITF’s Global HIV/Aids Coordinator, spoke on the HIV vulnerability of transport workers.

The ITF documentary Highway of Hope, which focuses on the Northern Transit Corridor that links Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo and explores the relationship between HIV/Aids and the factors making transport workers vulnerable to HIV was screened.

In the subsequent open discussion, many of the participants described their negative as well as positive experiences in their countries. Speakers stressed the need for capacity building, particularly in developing countries, and discussed the problems of developing links with employers, governments, agencies and donor organisations.

A representative of the Kenyan Long Distance Truck Drivers' Union said: “We all know that HIV prevention programmes aimed at truck drivers can reduce their frequency of unprotected sex. Our organisation organises truck drivers in Kenya and has been fighting HIV/Aids for a long time. But unfortunately our government has been refusing to recognise our organisation as a trade union. This puts insurmountable obstacles in front of us in our fight against HIV/Aids. But recently we managed to join our forces with other Kenyan affiliates and together we will pressurise the government”.




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ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk