Background: Blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have some common epidemiological characteristics, and have infected millions of people throughout the world. Patients infected by acute hepatitis or HIV infections may not be aware of the disease, and thereby cause transmission to others. During haircut, shave, or pedicure, barbers may accidentally expose to their clients’ blood, transmit their own infection to them, or transmit the infection from one client to another. Thus the beauty salon staff has a potential role in expansion of infections.
Objectives: As being barbers and barbering are risk factors to some infectious diseases, determining the role of knowledge and awareness of barbers and hairdressers about topics related to AIDS, and hepatitis B and C is important.
Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was performed in 2010-2011 on 281 women’s beauty salons located in eleven urban districts of Isfahan town. A multistage cluster sampling was performed and knowledge assessment questionnaire accompanied by practice checklist regarding hepatitis B and C, and AIDS were completed by trained interviewers. Knowledge and practice scores were determined in 0-20 and 0-10 scales, respectively. The content validity of questionnaire was confirmed by three expert opinions and the test-retest reliability of the questionnaire was determined to be 0.83 in a pilot study on 30 participants. Data were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient and one-way ANOVA test by SPSS software, version 18.
Results: In the study, 281 hairdressers participated. There was a statistically significant relationship between education level and knowledge score of hairdressers (P < 0.001). We found a statistically significant relationship between knowledge level and job history of hairdressers according to the Pearson’s correlation coefficient (P = 0.004). The results did not show any statistically significant relationship between education level and practice scores (P = 0.5). Furthermore, the job history of hairdressers and their practice score did not show a significant relationship (P = 0.77).
Conclusions: We obtained promising results about the knowledge and practice levels of staffs of women’s beauty salons in Isfahan about AIDS, and hepatitis B and C. The target group exhibited an intermediate level of knowledge about the diseases because of important role of barbers in virus transmission; we should provide the best control, evaluation, and continuous teaching programs.