A Cut, Blow Dry and AIDS Advice That Could Save Your
December 22, 2006
A salon-based HIV prevention program that beauty giant L'Oreal created in South Africa is now being introduced internationally. With 30,000 staffers training some 400,000 hairdressers around the world each year, the company recognizes the opportunity to use salons as a venue for AIDS education.
Martin Smith, chief of the company's UK professional division, was at first skeptical about the idea but has since been won over. "Hairdressers have an amazing relationship with their clients," he said. "The talk about everything: themselves, their holidays, their health. To be a great hairdresser, you have to have a great dialogue and love people." Smith is asking all of the firm's 2,600 UK employees to undergo the training by early 2007; he is urging other beauty schools to adopt the training; and he wants to launch an HIV prevention Web site.
Jean Jacques Lebel, president of L'Oreal's professional products division, said the company has worked with UNESCO to grow the program beyond South Africa, where it was launched three years ago. In addition to offering HIV prevention information to customers, the company introduced the "one man, one blade" campaign to teach hairdressers about the importance of using sterilized razors to prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases.
L'Oreal's HIV/AIDS program is now active across Africa as well as in its native France and the United Kingdom, plus such high-prevalence countries as China, India, and Brazil. A Russian launch is planned for January.
Financial Times (London)
12.09.2006; Andrew Jack
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.