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17 Jan 2006

HIV risk of infection from nail salon?
Hi,

I've frequented the same nail salon from summer of 2002 until winter of 2005. It's somewhat clean, with the pedicure tubs being washed after each use, but they don't regularly sterilize the clippers or electrical buffer/filer cylinders after each use, nor do they dispose of the emery boards after each client (until they're used almost completely). Once in a while (more towards the beginning) I'd bleed a tiny bit, most likely from the electric buffer/filer. A couple of times the manicurist put on a gel-like antiseptic(?) to stop the bleeding and I assume, prevent infection.

My questions are:

1) Could the HIV virus survive in the applicator of the antiseptic tube and infect me? I know HIV can't live outside the body for a long time, but would the small air exposure and antiseptic agents be enough to get rid of it? Granted, the applicator tube is much wider than that of a syringe.

2) Sometimes I would get nicked by the electric filer/buffer on a small scab or cut, sometimes causing it to open. I'm pretty sure any blood that could have been on it was dried.

3) Would soaking my fingers in acetone with small, open cuts put me at risk if someone else with open cuts had also soaked before me? Or would the air exposure and acetone kill the virus if it was present?

4) I was getting my eyebrows done and one was pulled and I bled a tiny bit. Any risk of infection from the tweezers? I know they weren't used for at least an hour.

5) Could the scraping tool used for toes during pedicures infect me if it is wiped and in open air? I bled once during a scraping.

I've never heard of any problems coming from this salon (my aunt has been going there longer than I have). Some infrequent irritation from the acrylic gel has been my only problem, but I'm going to be tested soon and I just want to be sure. I haven't had a blood test since before I started getting my nails done and even then they were just looking for lupus. Either way, I'm not planning on getting acrylics anymore.

Thank in advance for any help you can offer.
Answer 319 views
Expert
HIV Counsellor

01 Jan 0001

Hi Ricki!

I have read all of your questions carefully and can tell you that, as far as HIV is concerned, you need not worry on account of any of them.
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