When you go to a nail salon to get a manicure you think that the worst that could happen would be that you bleed a little from the file, have the nails done too short, or don’t end up liking the color after. One woman in Brazil found out that the worst that can happen to you during a manicure is that you could contract a deadly disease.
The 22 year old Brazilian tested positive for HIV. Doctors were confused as to how this had happened as she had not had s*x, didn’t have any tattoos or piercings, and hadn’t had any blood transfusions. All of those are the most common methods of contracting HIV. They looked into her past after they had verified that all of those things were true and came up with the only logical solution. When the woman shared unsanitized manicure tools with her cousin is when she got HIV.
Even the smallest of cuts on the hand can lead to an HIV infection with tools that are not properly disinfected. Normally in a nail salon the tools will all be washed with warm soap and water and then will be placed in a disinfectant solution for up to half an hour. Unfortunately this is not the case for all nail salons and it can often be hard to see which ones are using the correct sanitary practices. There are only so many inspectors that come around to the nail salons to check them out and make sure they are following sanitation rules, however there are so many nail salons out there that this can be difficult. In the state of NY there are only 27 inspectors. Think about how many nail salons there are in New York City alone, let alone the entire state. Out of the ones those 27 inspectors did inspect however, 19% had issues with not properly sanitizing equipment.
States do not require sterilization of the instruments that are used at nail salons, only sanitation. The rules are not quite strict enough in that regard. However the chances of someone contracting HIV from getting a manicure are very very small. It is always a good idea though to check out the disinfecting practices of your local nail salon the next time you are in.