Beauty parlour, hair salon employees not tested for Aids since 2002: ministry

Updated 09 Dec 2019

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There are 100 registered beauty parlours and 250 hair salons in Islamabad. — AFP/File
There are 100 registered beauty parlours and 250 hair salons in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Due to international obligations, health directorates of the capital have not tested the employees of beauty parlours and hair salons for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids) since 2002.

This has been revealed in a written reply submitted by Ministry of Interior in the National Assembly Secretariat.

The reply came as a response to questions asked by PML-N legislator Chaudhry Mohammad Barjees Tahir.

He asked whether there is any law in Islamabad for the registration of beauty parlours and hair salons and whether Hepatitis and Aids tests of employees are being conducted.

The reply, submitted by Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmed Shah which is available with Dawn, shows that there are 100 registered beauty parlours and 250 hair salons in Islamabad.

“Beauty parlours and hair salons are inspected routinely for checking the hygiene of staff, equipment and environment. They are directed to undergo medical test examination by the lab of Directorate of Health Services of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and resultantly each staff member is issued certificate of fitness based on Hepatitis B and C tests,” it states.

It also informs that a total of 189 beauty parlours and salons were inspected in 2019 and notices were issued to 43 of them.

“Aids test is not conducted by Directorate of Health Services as objection was raised by the National Aids Control Programme (NACP) in 2002 which is the only programme allowed to conduct the tests and keep a record of Aids patients in Pakistan,” it states.

NACP Programme Manager Dr Baseer Achakzai, while talking to Dawn, said that there was an international obligation that no person shall be forced to get himself or herself tested for Aids.

“Aids tests are conducted on a voluntary basis. However it is the job of the departments to ensure that sterilised equipment is used because the instrument becomes the reason of spread of HIV rather than technicians,” he said.

While replying to a question, Dr Achakzai was of the view that the staff at massage centres should be tested for Aids as some of them can be sex workers as well.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019