Training Indonesian Hairdressers To People About HIV/AIDS

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L'Oreal and UNESCO on Wednesday in Jakarta, Indonesia,launched a program that will train hairdressers in the country to promotediscussion and educate people about HIV/AIDS, the Jakarta Postreports. According to the Post, the program, called Hairdressers Against AIDS, will begin in 2008 (JakartaPost, 12/14).

Indonesia has one of Asia's fastest-growing HIV epidemics, and up to 290,000people are living with HIV out of the total population of 235 million. HIV inthe country primarily is spread by injection drug use and commercial sex work(Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/23). With help from UNESCO, L'Oreal developedan HIV/AIDS prevention education module in 2004, which was used to educatehairdressers in 15 other countries. In Indonesia, the company with supportfrom UNESCO and the Indonesian AIDS Foundation plans to conduct seminars andeducational programs that will teach hairdressers how to educate others intheir communities about the disease.

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According to the Post, there is about one hairdresser per every7,500 people worldwide -- more than the ratio of HIV/AIDS advocates to people. Linda Santiago Posadas, UNESCOIndonesia's program specialist for basic sciences, said that besides cuttinghair, "hairdressers spend most of their time interacting withclients." She added that the number of interactions hairdressers haveannually with their clients far exceeds the total time spent by HIV/AIDS advocatesfor basic prevention education. Hairdressers also can "discuss personaltopics because their relationship is built on trust," Posadas said, adding, "This is anopportunity to discuss issues relating to HIV/AIDS. They can educateclients and their peers" (Jakarta Post, 12/14).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Reportis published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. KaiserFamily Foundation.

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