UNESCO and L’Oréal sign agreement on HIV/AIDS prevention educationUNESCO and L’Oréal Professional Products today signed an agreement under which they will work together on an HIV/AIDS prevention education programme.
According to UNAIDS, half of the 4.3 million adults infected with HIV each year around the globe are young people aged 15 to 24. Women now represent half of the 37 million people infected worldwide.
“The alarming increase in the number of AIDS cases, which constitutes a serious threat to the development of vast regions of the world, requires mobilization in all sectors of society,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.
Within the framework of the cooperation agreement, UNESCO and L’Oréal will launch a new programme “Hairdressers of the World against AIDS”, aimed at raising awareness of HIV/AIDS by offering prevention courses to hairdressers in training.
This programme will offer courses adapted to the cultures of the countries concerned. It will be part of the programme already put in place by L'Oréal in Africa, which has thus far provided for 170,000 training days. The hairdressers serve to further the campaign by relaying their knowledge to clients in their salons, veritable places of exchange and dialogue across the continent.
“Through its worldwide network of educators training several hundred thousand people, L’Oréal has the capability to contribute in a significant way to the fight against HIV/AIDS. After Africa, India and Brazil are also joining the programme,” L'Oréal Vice-President Jean-Jacques Lebel said at the signing of the protocol agreement.
L'Oréal's Professional Products Division has 115 technical training centers in more than 50 countries, staffed by several thousand teachers. L’Oréal Professional Products has 400,000 partner salons around the world with more than two million professionals who are ready to take on this education project.
“This programme illustrates the priority given by UNESCO to education for the prevention of the AIDS pandemic,” UNESCO Assistant Director-General Françoise Rivière said as she signed the agreement. “It carries on the work of the Business Forum on HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention, co-organized last December by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) and UNESCO.”