The DailyMail reported a 22-year-old woman was diagnosed with HIV after having her nails done using shared manicure equipment. Researchers warned that transmission through shared manicure equipment is a ”very rare event” and the risks of infection from new sources are still very low.
When diagnosed, the woman was found to have advanced HIV, according to the report in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
But she had none of the usual risk factors for acquiring the virus, which is most commonly caught by having sex without a condom.
Dr Brian Foley, of the HIV Sequence Database at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said the case should not make people scared of contact with people with the virus, as the risk of infection is very low.
The doctor said: ”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.’
HIV can also be passed on by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment, and from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
The woman did admit to having shared manicure instruments years before with a cousin who was later found to be HIV-positive. Blood analysis suggested the woman contracted the virus around ten years ago.
A genetic analysis of the viruses from both patients suggested it came from a common ancestor. This is indicating the possibility HIV was transmitted through the manicure instruments.
We are hoping this case could promote caution around sharing items and being aware of HIV.