HIV hot spot mapping along transport routes
Some of the highest incidence of HIV has been found along transport corridors, particularly at border crossings where there is a high turnover of truck drivers, migrant workers and commercial sex workers. These areas can become ‘hot spots’ for sexual networks where individuals are likely to engage in risky behaviors that will result in HIV transmission. These places can become ‘hot spots’ because they are favorable places to rest, refuel, eat, stay overnight and also providing sexual entertainment. In this context, drivers provide an important source of revenue to roadside businesses such as bars and hotels, making highways and truck stops centers of new economic and social activities. For transport projects that seek to improve efficiency of specific sub-sectors—city port and waterborne logistics projects or railways or air transport projects—HIV preventive measures should be concerned with high mobility patterns and hot spots with active sexual networks and risk behavior. Mapping assessments have been done to study linkages between population movements and the spread of HIV along transport corridors. Mapping exercises can also help identify successes and challenges faced in the various key areas of programs developed to reach transport workers and vulnerable groups. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has done a couple of recent studies that seek to map potential ‘hot spots’ for HIV transmission in relation to transport.