open access

Vol 62, No 2 (2011)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2011-09-09
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Survey on HIV risk perception and sexual behaviours among seafarers

I. Grappasonni, P. Paci, F. Mazzucchi, F. Amenta
International Maritime Health 2011;62(2):131-137.

open access

Vol 62, No 2 (2011)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2011-09-09

Abstract

Because the nature of their work seafarers spend long periods of time away from their families and therefore represent a group at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. This paper reports the results of a survey to evaluate awareness and knowledge of the risk of HIV infection among seafarers. Risky behaviours for HIV transmission were also assessed. The survey was conducted using anonymous questionnaires on 197 workers of 9 vessels and 26 office employees of an Italian shipping company (FINAVAL S.p.A., Rome). The respondents considered HIV/AIDS as one of the diseases with a high risk of transmission. Most respondents had a good general knowledge of HIV/AIDS and on the ways of its transmission. However, there is still lack of knowledge on the basics of this disease. On the other hand, in spite of knowledge and awareness about the risks of the disease, only 56.35% of the interviewed crewmembers used protection in sexual intercourse with occasional partners. Compared to data available in literature, the percentage of self-protecting people is increasing, but the number of seafarers exposing themselves to risky behaviours is still high. As expected, condoms are used with regular partners with lower frequency compared to occasional intercourse. The results of this survey indicate that adequate prevention campaigns and major attention paid to seafarers health is useful for stimulating responsible conduct for the prevention of infectious diseases, including HIV infection. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to increase information about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and how to reduce it.
(Int Marit Health 2011; 62, 2: 131–137)

Abstract

Because the nature of their work seafarers spend long periods of time away from their families and therefore represent a group at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. This paper reports the results of a survey to evaluate awareness and knowledge of the risk of HIV infection among seafarers. Risky behaviours for HIV transmission were also assessed. The survey was conducted using anonymous questionnaires on 197 workers of 9 vessels and 26 office employees of an Italian shipping company (FINAVAL S.p.A., Rome). The respondents considered HIV/AIDS as one of the diseases with a high risk of transmission. Most respondents had a good general knowledge of HIV/AIDS and on the ways of its transmission. However, there is still lack of knowledge on the basics of this disease. On the other hand, in spite of knowledge and awareness about the risks of the disease, only 56.35% of the interviewed crewmembers used protection in sexual intercourse with occasional partners. Compared to data available in literature, the percentage of self-protecting people is increasing, but the number of seafarers exposing themselves to risky behaviours is still high. As expected, condoms are used with regular partners with lower frequency compared to occasional intercourse. The results of this survey indicate that adequate prevention campaigns and major attention paid to seafarers health is useful for stimulating responsible conduct for the prevention of infectious diseases, including HIV infection. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to increase information about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and how to reduce it.
(Int Marit Health 2011; 62, 2: 131–137)
Get Citation

Keywords

HIV/AIDS; risky behaviours; seafarers

About this article
Title

Survey on HIV risk perception and sexual behaviours among seafarers

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 62, No 2 (2011)

Pages

131-137

Published online

2011-09-09

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2011;62(2):131-137.

Keywords

HIV/AIDS
risky behaviours
seafarers

Authors

I. Grappasonni
P. Paci
F. Mazzucchi
F. Amenta

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