Wednesday, April 23, 2008

UNESCO and L’Oréal: Raising AIDS Awareness

Beauty transcends national borders, and a trip to the hairdresser is a ritual in almost every country in the world. When UNESCO was looking for a private sector partner to help educate a mostly female global audience about HIV and AIDS, it turned to L’Oréal Professional Products. In 2005, through the initiative of Lady Owen-Jones, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS Prevention Education, the two organizations created Hairdressers Against AIDS, aimed at raising awareness of HIV by sensitizing hairdressers about HIV and encouraging them to talk about personal risk with their customers.

Knowing that hair salons are excellent locations for information sharing and exchange, UNESCO saw a golden opportunity in partnering with L’Oréal–an opportunity to ensure that the company’s network of 190 training centres and 1.2 million professionals are reached with reliable information on HIV and AIDS. Hairdressers in L’Oreal’s 400 000 partner salons around the world take courses at the training centres in more than 50 countries. The UNESCO training module–integrated into L’Oréal’s professional training system–provides simple, factual and accurate information on HIV. Hairdressers who graduate from the training programme UNESCO designed with L'Oréal relay their knowledge to clients in salons in every corner of the world.

Read more about this initiative in
Partnerships with the Private Sector: A Collection of Case Studies from UNAIDS

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