The Daily Mail and the Sun are at it again with their fish stories. Only this whopper is actually about fish.
Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) recently put out some recommendations regarding those fish you see eating people's toes in the salon. They're saying there's little to no chance of a person contracting HIV from enjoying this treatment, and even less provided the salons follow their guidelines. The HPA is recommending things like foot inspections and questionnaires before customers are allowed to be treated. And they say that, to be safe, salons shouldn't treat people with certain conditions.
“Certain groups of clients such as those who are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions including diabetes and psoriasis, are likely to be at increased risk of infection and fish pedicures are not recommended for such individuals,” the HPA says. “There is a lack of clear evidence of therapeutic benefit from fish pedicures, and operators of fish spas should not actively promote treatment for these groups.”
When it comes right down to it—even in water, HIV just doesn't survive that long outside of the body. The fish used in the treatment don't have teeth and blood is unlikely to stay in their mouth if they were to cause a person to bleed. And they lack a key ingredient to contract HIV and pass it on to another human being. They're not human.
Commenters on the Sun called them on the preposterous nature of their claim, while others shrugged it off as having been too gross to try in the first place. One insisted that it was safe because if there's any sort of contamination spas immediately remove the fish, drain the water and purchase new fish. Another asked where the fish go.
Don't worry, Junior. They're on that farm where your parents sent the family dog.