Most of us know that HIV is transmitted via sexual intercourse, needle sharing, and blood transfusion. But did you know that you can also get it through the seemingly harmless act of sharing manicure equipment?
Last year, a Brazilian woman in her early 20s was tested positive for HIV, which was discovered when she volunteered for blood donation. Her blood work was pretty much normal but it showed a high viral load. She denied getting the infection through the usual means, like intercourse and needle sharing.
Her mother tested negative for the infection. But they remember sharing manicure equipment with a cousin some 10 years ago. During that period, the cousin didn’t know she had an infection but she later on tested HIV positive.
The researchers took and analyzed samples from the woman and her cousin and they discovered that the viral genetic material from both was related. This confirms the possibility that the infection was transmitted via their shared manicure tools.
As of the moment, nail grooming tools are not included in the list of HIV-spreading mechanisms released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a press release, the authors of the study said that “HIV is not transmitted by casual contact, such as sharing eating utensils, or drinking from the same water glass. This transmission of HIV by shared manicure equipment is a very rare event that should serve not to make people fear HIV or contact with HIV-infected people.” This should serve as a reminder for everyone to be mindful of the equipment that they share with others, which can transmit viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.