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Open Access Research article

HIV related risk behaviours among taxi drivers and their assistants in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: descriptive cross-sectional survey

Yihunie Lakew1* and Habtamu Tamene2

Author Affiliations

1 Ethiopian Public Health Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2 Population Service International, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:330  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-330

Published: 8 April 2014



Risk taking behaviours in relation to HIV among the mobile population is a growing public health concern in many developing countries, including Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to describe risky sexual behaviours and associated factors among male taxi drivers and assistants in Addis Ababa.


A descriptive cross-sectional survey design with multistage cluster sampling procedure was employed to select 615 individuals for interview.


Seventy six percent of the respondents were sexually active. Nearly 31% of the respondents reported casual sex and 7% of them did not use a condom with their most recent casual sex partner. More than half (58.5%) of the respondents had no condom use efficacy. Condom breakage and/or slippage during sex had been encountered by 44% of respondents with casual partners and sex during menstruation had ever occurred among 17% of respondents. Eleven percent had experienced sex with female sex workers. Thirty-three percent of the respondents were unfaithful to their spouse/steady partners. Multivariate analysis revealed that living with parents [AOR 95% CI; 2(1.14-3.60)], non-khat chewers [AOR 95% CI; 3.7(2.13-6.31)], never taken VCT [AOR 95% CI; 3.5(1.84-6.72)], middle-class monthly cash gain [AOR 95% CI; 0.5(0.25-0.98)] and more years of experience working on a taxi [AOR 95% CI; 0.17(0.60-0.47)] were statistically significant to influence lifetime abstinence. Non-khat chewers [AOR 95% CI; 0.53(0.37-0.78)], never taken VCT [AOR 95% CI; 0.54(0.36-0.88)] and higher monthly cash gain [AOR 95% CI; 2.9(1.14-7.19)] had a statistically significant association with condom use efficacy. Living with parents [AOR 95% CI; 2(1.31-3.72)], living with friends [AOR 95% CI; 6.4(3.13-12.89)] and non-khat chewers [AOR 95% CI; 2(1.34-3.53)] were risk factors found to be associated with faithfulness.


Risky sexual behaviours in this sub-population were considerable and associated factors were found to be multidimensional. Therefore, there is a need for robust intervention strategies such as tailored serial radio program targeting taxi drivers and their assistants.

HIV; Risky sexual behaviours; Taxi drivers and assistants