A 22-year-old woman contracted HIV unknowingly after sharing manicure equipment. It was quite a shock because she had none of the usual risk factors of HIV, like unprotected sex. Doctors are aware of this transmission of the virus, but they say it is a very rare risk.
We all know the usual ways to get HIV:
- Sexual Intercourse
- Breast Milk
But did you know it is possible to get HIV from a nail salon? I didn’t believe it myself until further investigation.
This 22-year-old woman in Brazil got a quite the deal out of the manicure when she ended up getting HIV. Her case was published in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. She was diagnosed with advanced HIV, but did not meet the standards for the conditions of transmission. She was a virgin who had never had a blood transfusion, surgery, tattoo, or even a piercing.
After looking into things and confirming that she was in fact, being truthful about the above, doctors tried to dig deeper and find out the cause of her disease. The only event that could relate back was an incident in which the young lady shared a pair of nail clippers with her manicurist cousin ten years before her diagnosis. A cousin who happened to be HIV positive. Something that leads people to believe that these instruments are a means of transmission in some cases.
How can this happen?
It all starts with a new pair of nail clippers or a metal file anything that could potentially puncture skin even a cuticle pusher. These items are supposed to get disinfected after each use, but sometimes this does not happen. If the tools are not properly cleaned, and there is even a small trace of blood from an infected person, then you can get the virus too.
By getting a manicure at a nail salon you are putting yourself at risk. Instruments are reused on a regular basis in these places and some of them do not disinfect properly. The standards for this are also different state by state. As for businesses that abide by OSHA standard you are in the clear, however, there are many businesses that likely do not abide by OSHA standard.
There are tons of nail salons in the United States alone. We can’t be aware of everything going on in the back room of each and every one. Some states do not even have enough inspectors to get to each and every salon. It has been estimated that around 75 percent of all U.S. nail salons don’t even bother to follow state guidelines when it comes to disinfecting their instruments.
If you want to find out if your salon is cleaning their items properly then you may want to look at a few things that can give you a good idea:
- Do the nail techs wear gloves? They should!
- Do they cut calluses? They should not!
- Have they received any sort of advanced training? They are more aware of the need for sanitation.
If your nail tech doesn’t wear gloves, cuts out ingrown toenails, and has no sort of education on the trade then you might need to think about changing your salon. You get what you pay for sometimes. Be careful, Something as small as using a pair of nail clippers changed this young ladies life forever. This may appear to be the first case of its kind, but it will not likely be the last.