HIV and pedicure on holiday
I recently travelled to a country in Africa where there is a 1 in 10 incidence of HIV in adults. I had a 'pedicure' on the street which i thought would only involve painting nails but halfway through the guy whipped out a metal file (unwashed, and i know coz he used it 5 mins later on someone else without washing it) and scraped under my toe with it before i could stop him. i didnt see any cuts or abrasions/bleeding on examining my toe and i didnt see anything on the file (although i only got a brief glance) but im really worried i could have become infected with HIV. I know it sounds silly but im freaking out, can you tell me how likely it is an infection could be passed on this way?
Thank you for using AIDS Vancouver as your source of HIV/AIDS related information.
Having a pedicure, even with an unwashed metal file, poses no risk of HIV transmission. Even if there was a cut/abrasion/bleeding, the HIV virus cannot survive outside of the body for more than a few minutes. For HIV transmission to be possible, HIV+ fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, pre-cum, rectal secretions) need to come into direct contact with your blood stream. In addition, HIV transmission through open cuts is still a theory and we have only seen one case of transmission this way, and that was through a bloody knife fight where there were many open, profusely bleeding wounds and a knife involved. So no, there is no risk of HIV transmission through manicures or pedicures.
Hopefully you find the information helpful.
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