Is It True? Can You Catch HIV from a Manicure?

For many of us, the worst thing we can probably experience in a nail salon is horrible service. So what is this deal going around that you can catch HIV from a manicure? How can something that is considered pampering be now considered a threat to your health? Also is this a legit concern we need to worry about? Or is it just something the media has sensationalized once again?

According to news sources, a Brazilian woman was revealed to be HIV positive when she went to donate some blood. She had not engaged in unprotected sex of any sort so it was bizarre she contracted the disease. It was concluded that she had been infected with the virus when she shared manicuring tools with her cousin almost 11 years ago. It was revealed she was also HIV positive. Sounds pretty scary, right? Well there is some good news that did come out of this. After media frenzy and many forums about the topic it was revealed that the chances of you getting infected with the HIV virus while getting a manicure is extremely rare.

What often leads to media sensationalism and hype is the lack of education from the public. Many of us hear one thing and then freak out at the possibility it can happen to us. Instead, what you should be doing is taking the time to do your research instead of worrying. An educated mind is a valuable and effective weapon when it comes to instances such as this one.

Here are some facts that should be known about the HIV virus:

  • The HIV virus cannot be contracted through casual contact. This means you can share utensils or drink out of the same water glass as an infected person and not contract the virus. You can even kiss the person and still be safe, unless the person and you have open sores on the mouth.
  • The only ways you can get HIV are through blood-to-blood, bodily fluid (semen, vaginal, and/or rectal), and mucous membrane contact. In some cases, HIV can be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. So unless you are sharing in activities such as unprotected sex and the use of needles with an infected person, or are handling the blood of an HIV patient without proper protection, the chances you can get this disease are again, very rare.
  • HIV does not survive very long outside the body so the chances of it lingering on manicuring tools are very low.

In order to keep yourself from doubt or worry, always make sure the salon you frequent sterilizes their tools. You can even play it safer by bringing in your own set of manicuring tools. This allows you to see to proper sterilization and you will know that you are the only person using these tools. Another way for you to keep peace of mind is to make sure your manicurist wears gloves. Not all are comfortable in performing their duties with latex gloves, but there are some who prefer to wear them as a mode of protection.

Remember that you must have an infected person use the same tools before you in a certain time frame in order to get the HIV virus. Even if a manicurist were to wipe a cut on a cotton ball and then wipe it on your nail, your chances of getting HIV are still very slim. However, that doesn’t mean what she did is proper or professional. So rest assured that your date at the nail salon won’t result in you getting the HIV virus. Instead just enjoy your pampering experience!