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Something for the weekend

12th December 2006

15052006_aids1.jpgLondon hairdressers are being trained to offer basic HIV/AIDS prevention education to their colleagues and customers.

As part of a worldwide campaign, British hairdressers are in training to offer their clients a health message about HIV. The hairdressers are being briefed with all the facts surrounding the disease including how it is spread, how it can be treated and why it should not be a taboo.

With 30,000 staff training 400,000 hairdressers each year around the world, L'Oreal realised it had a powerful network to spread an educational message on HIV to its customers. Due to the unique relationship many people have with their hairdressers, the company felt its staff were perfectly placed to carry the HIV/AIDS prevention message. The primary aim of the training is to educate L'Oreal employees to safeguard their own health but the company is committed to broadcasting the HIV prevention message as widely as possible to include its customers. L’Oreal hopes to roll out a similar programme in hairdressing schools and also plans to launch a HIV/AIDS website.

The programme was first created three years ago in South Africa, which has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world. L'Oreal then worked with Unesco to develop and expand its educational programme outside South Africa. The company’s training programme is now in place across Africa as well as in India, Brazil, China, Russia, France and the UK. L’Oreal aims to deliver its message in its salons across the world by the end of next year.

A spokesperson for L’Oreal said that educating customers is a delicate issue. “You have to be clever and sensitive," he says. "You can't go as far as telling customers to use condoms, that's not our business.? But he added that since the 1980’s, when HIV education was at its height, the AIDS epidemic is getting worse. “Big corporations are putting it back on the agenda," he said.


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Article Information

Title: Something for the weekend
Article Id: 1463
Date Added: 12th Dec 2006


The Financial Times

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