Statistically speaking, used blades do not come in as a major means of transmission of HIV. This does not take away the risk involved in using used blades, not to talk of using them actively.
Information gathered by this writer indicates that some tailors and dressmakers do not buy new blades from stores to work with. They instead prefer to go round barber shops to collect used blades for their work.
This practice puts them at risk of contracting any blood-borne virus including HIV.
According to some of these dressmakers and tailors, “WE PREFER USING ALREADY USED BLADES BECAUSE THE BRAND NEW ONES MISTAKENLY TEAR CLOTHES” therefore the barbers aid them in not tearing the clothes of their clients by giving them used blades.
Speaking to one of the dressmakers, she stated “HIV and AIDS HAS NO PORTION IN MY LIFE” to wit, nothing would happen to her if she uses blades and other sharp instruments that have already been used by different people.
There are so many infections transmitted through sharing of razors such as HEPATITIS B VIRUS ( HBV) and others. Barbers are cosmetic workers who undertake skin-piercing practices involving re-useable sharp instruments, which present risks for transmission of HIV and other blood-borne pathogens from one client to the other.
HIV transmission through sharing of non-sterile sharp instruments such as those used for barbering, circumcision, facial scarification, tattooing, and ear perforation, have been given less attention in the campaign for a positive response to the spread of HIV and AIDS.
Speaking to the coordinator of the Technical Support Unit Of the Ghana AIDS Commission in the Eastern region, Mrs. Golda Asante, she stated, aside being infected by blood-borne infections, it’s not hygienic for one to use others’ used materials.
The National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2016-2020 ( NSP) represents government’s commitment to accelerate the country’s efforts towards ending HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2030.
This is achievable by through the AGENDA 90-90-90. Accordingly, the objective of the NSP 2016-2020 is to fast-track efforts towards the prevention of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, as well as to emphasize treatment, care and support interventions by 2020.
About the 90-90-90
A UNAIDS adopted goal, the Ghana AIDS Commission aims at getting 9 out of every 10 people who are HIV positive in the country to know their status by the year 2020.
Secondly, by the year 2020, 9 out of every 10 people who are living with HIV should be on sustained antiretroviral therapy.
Per the third 90, the Commission aims that 9 out of every 10 people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
The Commission also aims at eradicating AIDS by the year 2030.
What this means is that, people will be living with HIV but would their viral load will be so suppressed, it would make it difficult for them to infect other people.
Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is one of the key targets of the new 2015-2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs)- specifically, GOAL 3 focuses on ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all.
According to the Mrs. Golda Asante, the first 90 (testing) which is free has improved, but she is urging Ghanaians to take part in this exercise for a BETTER HEALTH AND A BETTER GHANA.
By Nana Yaa Amoako- Gyampah
The writer is a news anchor at Eastern Fm, Koforidua’s foremost privately owned commercial radio station