Observations of barbers' activities in Oyo State Nigeria: implications for HIV/AIDS transmission.

Kabiru K. Salami, Musibau A. Titiloye, William R. Brieger, Sakiru A. Otusanya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In Nigeria, most studies concerning HIV/AIDS transmission have looked at the sexual route from both epidemiological and behavioral perspectives. A few have examined the role of blood transfusion and the potential for indigenous surgical practices. None have specifically looked at the transmission of potential barbers. This study distinguished between indigenous barbers who function as surgeons and "modern" barbers who cut hair, and focused on the latter through observations of barbering practices in 77 shops in Igbo-Ora and Apete communities in Oyo State. Igbo-Ora is headquarters of a rural local government, while Apete is a peri-urban community near Ibadan, the state capital. Five barbering sessions were observed in each shop using a checklist during evening hours when shops are busiest. All barbers used clippers to cut hair, either electric or manual. On average, barbers sterilized the clippers in a commercial disinfectant, Jik, or with methylated spirits prior to 4.2 barberings. Sex and age of customer were not associated with wether the clippers were sterilized. Three shop characteristics appeared to influence sterilization behavior. Clippers were more likely to be sterilized if the shop was in Apete, if the shop owner was male, and if the shop had two or more of the following electrical appliances: fan, TV, or radio/cassette layer. There were only two observed cases of the barbers causing a cut, and in both cases the clippers had been sterilized. Overall, 63 (16.3%) of the 385 customers were barbed with non-sterilized clippers. The relatively short time gap between customers implies that the potential for disease transmission exists, though it was not within the scope of this study to study disease transmission itself. In-service training that involves the barbers themselves and addresses both gender and town differences is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-330
Number of pages12
JournalInternational quarterly of community health education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Observations of barbers' activities in Oyo State Nigeria: implications for HIV/AIDS transmission.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this