Barbershops highly unlikely to spread HIV-ZMA

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Image used for illustration purposes
Image used for illustration purposes

The Zambia Medical Association says HIV is unlikely to be spread through barbershops.

Reacting to a statement which was earlier allegedly issued by an official from the National Aids Council which was later corrected to have come from the Zimbabwe Aids Council that HIV can be spread through Barbershops, ZMA General Secretary Francis Mupeta said that is highly unlikely.

In a short statement on his Facebook, Dr Mupeta said the HIV is a very labile virus which gets killed by simple disinfectants like methylated spirit and heating.

Dr Mupeta observed that the barber’s clippers used are normally heated through vibrations and that renders the virus inactivated for transmission.

“However, there still a small chance of transmission should a barber man use the clippers after cutting one customer without disinfecting it and cuts another customer causing a wound. This situation is highly unlikely as it would be assault and would require an inquiry into the state of mind into the barber man. HIV is not an entirely hygienic issue, say you don’t get a cut or bleach in your skin, you won’t get HIV but you can still get fungal. Remember the basics,” he said.

Dr Mupeta also warned that without proper disinfection customers are at risk of getting highly Infectious diseases like Hepatitis B and fungal infections.

“I therefore urge owners of barbershops to practice hygiene by properly sterilising their equipment,” he said.

But National Aids Council (NAC) Communications Manager Justine Mwiinga says although Zambia has not yet carried out research on the risk of HIV infection in barbershops, the virus can be transmitted if the instruments are not sterilized and there’s an exchange of blood between an infected person and someone who is not infected.

Mr. Mwiinga also clarified that the statement which was circulating on social media stating that barbershops were contributing to the spread of HIV was not issued by the National Aids Council of Zambia but the National Aids Council of Zimbabwe.

In the said statement, Zimbabwe’s NAC monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu acknowledged that there was significant contamination of barber hair clippers with blood and blood-borne viruses.

He observed that if one used a barber hair clipper which had infected blood and sustained any cut during the use of the clipper, he or she could get infected with the virus.

“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 sterilizers and numerous clippers so that they don’t use the same for all clients. They should use a single clipper on one person and sterilize it before it can be used on the next person,” Mpofu stated.

He encouraged members of the public to carry their own clippers to the salon rather than risk getting infected.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. But who instructed authorities to shut down barber shops in Siavonga based on a statement issued in Zimbabwe?

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    • Highly unlikely means:

      “ubushiku usheme, nechimbala chiloocha”.

      Barbers in zed are generally good. I have had a few bad experiences though…not pretty.

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  2. THIS IS RIDICULOUS – THIS IS GOING TO CAUSE A LOT OF BARBERSHOPS WHO RELY ON CUSTOMERS TO EARN A LIVING TO CLOSE DOWN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. The Fact is tht thy is a chance and people can only downplay this if the right measures are but in place to prevent it from happening… As things are, barbars use wht ever methods reduce costs and tht might be a risk to custors

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  4. tHat chap must be a witchdoctor. has she done research that ka mupeta? Just talking without doing a research…shame on him?

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    • Actually you two above are the morons, there has been no evidence anyone has ever been infected by sharing an electric shaver – methylated spirit and the heat for the machine both kill HIV. Just have s*x with a condom!

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  5. Pipo are getting worried about barbershops, ask yourself how many haircuts have you had un the last month then ask yourself how many timesypu have had unprotected sex. Now start worrying

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  6. 2 things:
    1) As long as the barber uses methylated spirit there will be almost no risk of HIV spreading and secondly the temperature of a hot blade makes it difficult for any virus to survive.
    2) Today with a rate of 27% in Zambia Prisons HIV is mainly being spread from our poorly sanitized prisons. WE HAVE THE HIGHEST RATE OF HIV INFECTED PRISONERS IN THE WORLD! Meanwhile Zambia Correction Services make millions of kwacha from agriculture but can’t improve prison conditions! This is such a sad state of affairs. Even cholera was spread from Mukubeko in Kabwe to surrounding compounds the same is happening with HIV! Let’s improve sanitation and conditions for prisoners- we will all be affected if we dont!

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    • Prisoners are infecting each other through unprotected annal sex. The Tajiri Vaseline they use for lubrication doesn’t offer any protection

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  7. Nearly everyone gets worried when we discuss issues to do with HIV ok. Perhaps the question would be, why? And the answer is simple HIV is not like any other disease that’s a fact. Now, if at all we can go thru the stages of how s/one gets infected you would notice that it’s not always that once you get in contact with s/one who has HIV you get infected as well. Especially thoz who are on treatment (ART). The most dangerous ones are those who are infected but not yet on treatment.
    Barbershops: the virus once exposed to air it can live between 47seconds to 6days. And in these six days the blood would have dried giving very little in fact slimmest chances for virus to infect the next person. Dr Mupeta has said the virus is labile. Studies have shown that the virus at times can’t…

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  8. Highly unlikely but there is 1% chance…I remind my barber to spray steriliser on the clipper blades when he forgets on busy days although he often does it as it standard practice.

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  9. Social media at it again. …however let’s be vigilant and cautious when at these shops.

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  10. Sterilization if machines after shaving is the key.and let us be very careful on how we handle this situation because it will soon bring confusion.mind you alot of people are fully surviving through the same barba shop business. Thanks

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  11. The real spreader of HIV in Zimbabwe Zambia and many poor countries were the hospitals. In the 80s 90s the hospitals were quite careless and broke.they did not properly sterilise equipment. Syringes were used and reused and most visitors to hospitals got infected. Most governments should have been sued that’s why the story was swept under the carpet

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  12. The spread of HIV is caused by CBU, UNZA and all these ghetto hoochies that are busy looking for blessers who are sugar daddies infested with HIV. Zambia has too many whores. Married men to are busy cheating on their wives. Zambia is Sodom and Gomorrah and that is what it really is. Quit hiding in all this Christian nation crap, most of our women in Zambia are whores and they have no shame doing it. Men are not better either. God, if there is any God at all, will continue to punish all you horny pricks.

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  13. CHANCES OF GETTING THE DANGEROUS AND INCURABLE HEPATITIS B VIRUS ARE EVEN HIGHER………

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  14. Chefyenikofye ifi gololo and leave those innocent poor simple business people from accusations….

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