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Manicures, Pedicures and HIV

Sandals mean pedicures and why not get your fingernails done too. They are good for the health of your nails, both on your fingers and toes. There are a few health concerns with going to a salon for your mani pedis and HIV is one of them. Since HIV can be transmitted through blood, if the skin around your fingernails gets cut or broken, and there is the HIV virus present, then there's a chance it can be passed on to you. According to, here are some ways to protect yourself.

  • Be certain that you go to a reputable salon that cleans and disinfects all the instruments between customers. If they aren't cleaned properly, there's a chance that HIV can be passed. If you're really concerned, you can always purchase your own manicure kit and bring it along.
  • Make sure the manicurist washes his or her hands before doing your nails. It can't hurt to request that they wear latex gloves too.
  • You may request that the manicurist not trim your cuticles, to reduce the chance of having cut or open skin.

To hear the rest


  • The manicurist should use a new emory board on your nails.
  • If the manicurist uses a towel, make sure it is clean and unused.
  • Bring your own nail polish. Since nail polish is usually shared, using your own not only protects you from HIV, but from other infections and nail fungii as well.
  • If pedicures are your thing, make sure the tub is thoroughly disinfected between customers and avoid the callous remover that looks like a cheese grater. It might get your heels smooth, but they are difficult to disinfect.


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