“SafeTStops” offer travelers along East Africa's busy highways HIV-prevention services along with food and fuel.
Project in East Africa tackles infection hot spots along highways
Roads are like arteries. They bring supplies that sustain life but also spread agents that cause disease.
In East Africa, PATH is helping to prevent HIV transmission along transportation corridors. Through targeted communications campaigns and educational programs, we are helping truckers and other highly mobile people make smart choices about sexual behavior to protect themselves and their families.
Providing safe stops
“SafeTStops” are a key feature of the project. These are sites where truck drivers and other travelers get health services along with food and fuel. Sites offer counseling, testing, and treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as well as entertainment, faith-based services, and support systems for orphans and vulnerable children. The project also includes a stoplight-themed billboard campaign and training for women and teens in peer education and other methods to promote behavior change.
Begun in Kenya, the project has expanded to Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. PATH’s work to promote behavior change has been done under an agreement with Family Health International, the overall project lead, with funding from the US Agency for International Development.
Addressing both economic and health concerns
This novel project simultaneously addresses both economic development and public health concerns and involves local businesses as well as government officials. By focusing on high-risk groups in underserved locations, it is helping to make HIV prevention, testing, and treatment available to all who need it.
Photo: Wendy Stone.