Barbershops fuelling HIV spread

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Authorities in Zimbabwe have warned that there are chances of contracting HIV through the use of shared of hair clippers.

The National Aids Council (NAC) in Zimbabwe has claimed that people who have their hair cut at salons and barbershops are at risk of contracting HIV through hair clippers.

Barber ShopsNAC monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu told Zimbabwean media that barbershop and salons clients also risk contracting the potentially fatal Hepatitis B and C through the clippers.

“HIV is transmitted through fresh blood hence if anyone sustains any cut during the use of the clippers and there is blood, it can remain on the piece of equipment. If another person uses the same clipper and there is also breakage of the skin, he or she can get infected.

“We encourage barbers to invest in sterilisers and numerous clippers so that they don’t use the same for all clients. They should use a single clipper on one person and sterilise it before it can be used on the next person,” said Mpofu.

He further encouraged members of the public to carry their own clippers to the barbershops rather than risk getting infections.

“It is almost like using one razor blade. Though HIV does not exist in dead blood, they cannot take that risk. When blood cells die the HIV virus dies but we encourage members of the public to be cautious and ensure they only use sterilised clippers or carry their own,” he Mpofu.

A recent journal article by the South African Medical Journal claimed there is significant contamination of barber hair clippers with blood and blood-borne viruses.

“Hepatitis B was detected with enough DNA copies to pose a risk of transmitting infection,” the study said.

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