Beware: Woman catches HIV after manicure at nail salon

Majority of women and a number of men have probably gotten a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon.

In one extremely rare case, a 22-year-old Brazilian woman possibly got infected with HIV after sharing manicure instruments with a cousin about a decade ago.

The lady’s beauty therapy shockingly turned potentially deadly.

The woman discovered she was positive after getting tested to donate blood where she was diagnosed with advanced HIV.


Upon receiving the news, she said she didn’t have any of the normal risk factors associated with contracting the virus, such as having sex without a condom, sharing infected needles, a blood transfusion or surgery, or gotten a piercing or tattoo.

Detailed analyses revealed that the two women were, in fact, infected with highly similar strains of the virus, leading the researchers to conclude that manicure instruments are a potential route of HIV transmission.

When medical professionals probed further, they discovered that she had shared “manicure instruments years before with a cousin who was later found to be HIV-positive.”

Blood analysis also suggested that the woman had first got the virus around 10 years ago.

The viruses of the two relatives most likely came from a common ancestor, suggesting the manicure instruments may have transmitted the disease, analyses of their viruses found.

Doctors, however, said that the sad incident shouldn’t make you fearful of contact with HIV positive because the risk of infection is very minimal.

They, however, recommend double-checking with the nail technician at your next manicure or pedicure appointment if they have thoroughly cleaned and/or sterilized all equipment prior to using it on you.

At the beauty salons, instruments are regularly reused.

Disinfection standards vary from every facility.

Here are the recommended steps for cleaning the apparatus according to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA):

i) Wash the instruments in soap and water

ii) Soak them in a disinfectant for 10 to 30 minutes

iii) Rinse the tools in clean water

iv) Dry them with a clean cloth

v) Store them in a clean, covered area.

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