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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.


Join The Conversation
duffh duffh 9 years
Clearly this is a "blog" that was written without any research ( is not an authority of anything). HIV does not survive long outside the body so the likely hood that it's lingering anywhere....and really to contract HIV you need HIV infected blood to get into your blood stream. So the scenario would have to're at the salon they cut you then you stick your toe into a pool of HIV infected blood. So yes if you notice blood on their tools then you should probably find another salon as they clearly don't clean things and maybe report them to the health authority. I agree with the others you should be more worried about fungi and other infections as those linger around and are much more easily contracted. And i suggest the writer do a better and more thorough research job before causing panic and misinformation.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Jkat- I agree completely....has this ever actually even happened? Are there any cases of this? If there aren't, I really think this post is a little irresponsible, just like, "one more thing you can be paranoid about!" On the other hand, the idea of getting pedicures freaks me out, I think its a waste of money and kind of tacky. I would imagine there is a risk of fungus and bacteria already from putting your feet in hot, swirling water. But HIV just seems unlikely.
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 9 years
The nail salon I frequent passes with flying colors!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Wow I used to love pedis and always trusted where I went, been going since HS, but now I'm freaked out.
shalee55 shalee55 9 years
emalove emalove 9 years
Yes, it IS scary...I'm totally freaked out now.
hllrbackgirl hllrbackgirl 9 years
Ew. This is pretty scary
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I do my own manicures at home because even though it may not be as perfect, at least it's safe because I use my own tools. I've never heard of getting HIV from a mani or pedi, but I have heard of people getting staph infections from them. The idea of soaking my feet in a tub that a hundred other people have had their feet in kind of grosses me out, TBH.
kia kia 9 years
I have not thought about this. I rarely get a mani/pedi but may request the latex gloves in the future.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
jkat...i agree...I used to be a nail tech and any reputable salon will NOT be a risk. Be smart about where you go. Get recommendations from friends and relatives. In the almost 20 yrs that I have been doing nails I have not once ever heard of anyone contracting HIV through a manicure or pedicure. I hate these scare tactics. IS NEVER good to trim your cuticles on hands or feet. If your cuticles are hard and over grown use a cuticle cream and a good hand cream. They will get better. Your cuticles are there for a a barrier to infection. I refused to trim or cut cuticles when I worked and I would do it again. Some women didn;t care, some never came back. It didn't matter to me. I would never take the chance. Using a cuticle cream and pushing them back regularly will do wonders. If you really want to trim them...learn to do it yourself.
jkat jkat 9 years
I'd like to see a documented case before I start freaking out about it. I think infections or fungus are much more valid concerns, but even those are pretty rare. I work with people who have weekly manicures and get the frequently myself, and have never known anyone to have a problem.
barbara20 barbara20 9 years
i'm already so paranoid about HIV, this freaks me out
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
wow, thats it. No one manis or pedis for me!
vanessasworld vanessasworld 9 years
And that is exactly why I do my own...I'll forgo the perfection of having someone else polish your nails thanks, I'd rather have less than perfect nails and be disease free. About a year ago one of the news channels here did an undercover report on things lurking on the equipment at local nail salons and it was disgusting. They found fecal matter, bacteria and all kinds of gross things, even in the salons that cleaned and "disinfected" between customers. Half of the salons weren't even using approved disinfectants and the ones that were diluted with water to save money. Nail salons are gross.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I've never been anywhere to get either and now I never ever will.
LOVErickii LOVErickii 9 years
i've only ever gone once to a salon to get a manicure. i always do my own.
imLissy imLissy 9 years
I heard that it's possible, but are there actual cases where people have gotten HIV from a manicure?
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
That's it, i'm buying my own manicure kit and demanding that they wear gloves. Once one of the ladies at the place I USED to go to had a cut on her finger and she still insisted on giving me a pedicure. I said HELL NO.
annietym annietym 9 years
ARGH now i feel totally freaked out! the only place i've gone to that actually put gloves, brand new emory boards, etc was elizabeth arden red door salon. and you can all guess how often i can afford that. JEEZ!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
ewww that's kind of scray!
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