Getting braids not AIDS: How hairdressers are helping to tackle HIV in Zimbabwe

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Tackling HIV and AIDS in the developing world is an immense challenge which means going beyond treating the disease to focusing on prevention as well as providing care and support. There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution - any response must be tailored to the specific needs of each country and of the groups most vulnerable to AIDS. The UK's Department for International Development works with governments and other partners in a huge range of programmes to target the problems that contribute most to the spread of HIV and AIDS across the world.

As the economy in Zimbabwe begins to recover after years of chronic mismanagement and hyper-inflation, there are also encouraging signs of a decrease in HIV prevalence. This is significant in a country where there are 60,000 deaths from AIDS each year and where over 1 million children have been orphaned by AIDS. An innovative HIV prevention programme funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development is showing remarkable success by using hairdressers to teach their customers the facts about HIV and AIDS, and to sell them life saving products - female condoms.