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Hairdressers initiate campaign to combat AIDS



KATHMANDU: Nepal Thakur Society (NTS), a national network of barbers, has launched an awareness campaign against possible infection of HIV/AIDS through hairdressers.

National Centre for AIDS and STD Control Director Dr Ramesh Kumar Kharel and NTS Chairman Anirudra Prasad Thakur inaugurated the campaign amid a press meet organised in the Capital today.

Speaking at the function, Dr Kharel praised the initiative of NTS in the shared concern and expressed solidarity. “Despite minimal risk of getting infected with HIV from hairdressers, barbers should properly cleanse razors and replace used blades with new ones for shave or hair-cut. I hope the campaign will bring about positive behavioural changes among barbers,” he said.

According to a report of International Aids Society, barbers in South Asia have very little understanding of occupational risk.

It has emphasised the need for target-group-oriented advocacy programmes to create awareness among barbers for safe shave.

NTS Chairman Thakur informed that the campaign was meant to reduce possible HIV infection through shaving equipment. “Lack of proper knowledge about the mode of HIV infection is likely to contribute to the disease epidemic. Our target is to make barbers aware that unclean shaving equipment may transmit the disease to their clients,” he informed.

Thakur also appealed to the government to extend necessary support to NTS to make the awareness campaign a success. He also advised all and sundry to ask the barbers to use properly cleansed razors and new razor blade.

NTS said the first round of the campaign has begun in Kathmandu and it will gradually be spread to other districts.

Sanjay Dahal, Meghraj Thakur and Mahendra Kumar Thakur have been appointed trainers to raise HIV/AIDS awareness among barbers.

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