Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Examining the Influence of HIV Knowledge and Perceived Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS on Attitude towards Use of Personal Clipper in Ibadan, Southwestern Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Examining the Influence of HIV Knowledge and Perceived Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS on Attitude towards Use of Personal Clipper in Ibadan, Southwestern Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Issue of curbing the spread of Human immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV & AIDS) continue to attract intensive research day-by-day. Stakeholders and researchers continue to adopt different approaches to understanding factors that could predispose various groups to contracting HIV infections. Focus of research has been on examining the best preventive measures that need to be implemented in ensuring that the menace of HIV/AIDS is permanently put under control in across the globe. Research examining attitudes of customers patronizing barbing saloons in Nigeria as regards to the use of personal clippers remains unpopular. In other words, there is a need to investigate the likely factors that could be responsible for attitude towards the use of personal clippers when having hair cut in barbing saloons. Of course, this might give a clue further to the likely preventive methods that need to be put in place in reducing the scourge in Nigeria.

In another perspective, efforts being made by stakeholders in reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria appear to have been mainly on prevention of HIV through sex, blood transfusion and mother-to-child transmission.

This must have been informed by the fact that a larger percentage of HIV/AIDS transmission occur through the combination of these routes. However, HIV transmission through sharing of non sterilized sharp instruments such as those used for barbing, circumcision, facial scarification, incision, tattooing, ear perforation, bloodletting, injection and acupuncture have always been classified as "others" and given less attention in the campaign against the spread HIV/AIDS. HIV infection may be transmitted from one person to another through the use of contaminated or inadequately sterilized needles, syringes and other skin piercing instruments.

Arulogun and Adesoro (2009) examined the precautionary measures for the prevention of HIV among commercial barbers in Ibadan, Nigeria. It was revealed that 10% of the respondents sterilized their clippers and 72.5% disinfected them, while no decontamination was carried out in 17.5% of the sessions. Fifty two percent of the disinfections involved the use of kerosene, a disinfectant not recommended for HIV inactivation; 48.3% of the disinfectants were not in the original containers while 53.4% of the sessions involved the use of same brush for cleaning clipper and brushing hair. Handheld flame and Ultra-violet light sterilizer were used in 50% of the sterilization process. Barbers in the high-class peripheral communities were more likely to practice appropriate equipment decontamination than those from lower-class inner-core communities. There was blade-toskin contact in all and accidental cuts occurred in three of the sessions and none was properly managed. The risk of transmitting HIV is high in the barbershops in the study area. These findings indicate that people who patronize barbershops for haircuts are at risk to contracting HIV infections.

Barbers can be viewed as cosmetic workers that undertake skin-piercing practices, involving reuseable sharp instruments which present risks for transmission of HIV and others blood-borne pathogens, from one client to the other. No doubt, barbers do not carry out procedures that deliberately penetrate their customers' skins; the procedures can accidentally damage their skins through abrasion or minor accidental cuts. The truth is that a minor of cut caused by clipper or razor blade may be enough for infection to occur. That is why it is wise for a customer to have his or her personal clipper when he or she wants to go for hair cut. The reverse is mostly the case when one visits most of these barbing saloon and discover that many customers do not have or come with their personal clippers. This calls for this study to examine attitudes toward the use of personal clippers in a sub-urban community in Nigeria. This is because understanding people's attitude might help in explaining their behaviour since there is a link between attitude and behaviour. …

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