TRUCK DRIVERS LOBBY FOR NEW LEGISLATION
TRUCK drivers are lobbying the Government to enact a law that will compel their employers to allow them to travel with their spouses saying this will reduce chances of them contracting HIV.
The drivers told Senators that they travel long distances, spending lengthy periods without their wives, a situation that forces some of them to seek sex from prostitutes.
Presenting the thematic committee on HIV and Aids on the National Aids Council (NAC) capacity building workshop and tour findings in the Senate on Wednesday, the committee’s chairperson Senator Lilian Timveos said some truck drivers were exposing their wives to HIV as some of them indulge in unprotected sex with prostitutes.
Senator Timveos said the drivers told the committee that they were spending up to three months away from home.
“Some of them also admitted that they did not consistently use condoms if they had interacted with the same commercial sex worker over time. Nac and its partners engaged the drivers to give them information on HIV and AIDS, counselling and testing for HIV,” said Senator Timveos.
She said the drivers recommended that the State enacts a law to allow them to travel with their wives on work trips.
“Drivers made recommendations as follows, Parliament should enact legislation which will compel employers to allow truck drivers to travel with their wives. This will reduce the spread of HIV as spouses will be able to travel together and the need for services of commercial sex workers will not arise,” she said.
Senator Timveos said the truck drivers also appealed to the Government to facilitate the provision of health centres near high ways so that they can also access the medical services.
“Some of the drivers are HIV positive or suffer from chronic illnesses and therefore recommended that wellness centres or clinics be located near truck stops to enable them to access health care services easily,” said Senator Timveos.
She said truck drivers expressed concerns over delays in clearing cargo by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority saying this has resulted in them spending about two weeks at border posts.