National Aids Council (NAC) monitoring and evaluation director Mr Amon Mpofu has warned that people risk contracting HIV, Hepatitis B and C through sharing barber clippers that are not sterilised.
Mpofu encouraged members of the public to carry their own clippers to reduce the risk of getting infected. He also urged barbershops to invest in real sterilisers and numerous clippers. Said Mpofu:
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. 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.
Mpofu’s comments comes after a study published by the South African Medical Journal which confirmed that there is significant contamination of barber hair clippers with blood and blood-borne viruses.