L’Oreal, UNESCO Launch Campaign That Trains Indonesian Hairdressers To Promote Discussion, Educate People About HIV/AIDSL'Oreal and UNESCO on Wednesday in Jakarta, Indonesia, launched a program that will train hairdressers in the country to promote discussion and educate people about HIV/AIDS, the Jakarta Post reports. According to the Post, the program, called Hairdressers Against AIDS, will begin in 2008 (Jakarta Post, 12/14).
Indonesia has one of Asia's fastest-growing HIV epidemics, and up to 290,000 people are living with HIV out of the total population of 235 million. HIV in the 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 developed an HIV/AIDS prevention education module in 2004, which was used to educate hairdressers in 15 other countries. In Indonesia, the company with support from UNESCO and the Indonesian AIDS Foundation plans to conduct seminars and educational programs that will teach hairdressers how to educate others in their communities about the disease.
According to the Post, there is about one hairdresser per every 7,500 people worldwide -- more than the ratio of HIV/AIDS advocates to people. Linda Santiago Posadas, UNESCO Indonesia's program specialist for basic sciences, said that besides cutting hair, "hairdressers spend most of their time interacting with clients." She added that the number of interactions hairdressers have annually with their clients far exceeds the total time spent by HIV/AIDS advocates for basic prevention education. Hairdressers also can "discuss personal topics because their relationship is built on trust," Posadas said, adding, "This is an opportunity to discuss issues relating to HIV/AIDS. They can educate clients and their peers" (Jakarta Post, 12/14). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.