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Please help Dr. Glenn - Fish Pedicure
Oct 31, 2012

Dear Dr. Glenn,

I've been using a fish pedicure one year ago. Recently I got shocked by that article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2050342/Fish-pedicures-foot-spas-spread-HIV-hepatitis-C.html Áfter reading this I got really alarmed and terrified because I had a cut on my feet that was not really bleeding any more but still sore while using the treatment. I've searched in the archives of your forum to find an answer because I was not sure if I could trust that article. I've never heard befor HIV could be transmitted via water or fish. But here a collegue said that in theory it is possible?!? I dont wanna call names because I am not sure if she/he is an expert on HIV transmission. What do you think was my risk with a maybe 4hours old cut on my foot using the fish pedicure? Would there be a risk if an HIV+ person would have bled into the water before I used the aquarium (it was about 100liters big). Could HIv be transmitted via water or fish? Am I at risk or should I test?! I got one single big lymph node about 4 weeks later....is this a bad sign.

I hope you can help me!

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

There is absolutely no risk from a situation like this. The reason why is because even if the fish ate up your feet to the degree that your skin broke and bled there wouldn't be a fresh large amount of HIV+ body fluid getting in there.

You may say "but what if a HIV+ person bled in there before me??" There still wouldn't be any risk. We need HIV+ body fluid to come out of someone's body and go immediately/directly inside of your body. There's just no way that's possible. The water in the tub would dilute the blood. The water in the tub isn't being pushed inside you. AND, HIV starts to die very quickly after leaving the human body.

Unfortunately, this article fuels hysteria around something with no risk. I'm sorry to hear that it confused you.

Hope the explanation here helped!

Erik



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