Three women infected with HIV after undergoing 'vampire facial'

Three women were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after receiving a 'vampire facial' at an unlicensed spa in New Mexico, USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Investigation of Presumptive HIV Transmission Associated with Receipt of Platelet-Rich Plasma Microneedling Facials at a Spa Among Former Spa Clients — New Mexico, 2018–2023 | MMWR

Three women contract HIV from dirty “vampire facials” at unlicensed spa | Ars Technica

Vampire facial is the generic name for a cosmetic treatment called 'platelet-rich plasma microneedling.' This treatment involves first drawing a client's blood, running it through a centrifuge to separate the blood into plasma and blood cells, and then injecting the platelet-rich plasma into the face with microneedles. It is said that this treatment has the effect of rejuvenating the skin and reducing the appearance of acne scars, but there is little evidence to support this claim.

The outbreak of HIV infections through vampire facials came to light when the first patient, a woman in her 40s or 50s, tested positive for HIV while traveling abroad in the summer of 2018.

The patient had no recent injection drug use or blood transfusions, and her only recent sexual partner had tested HIV negative, but she had received a vampire facial at 'Spa A' in New Mexico in the spring of 2018.

So authorities began investigating the spa, but it was unlicensed, had no reservation system, and no customer contact information was kept. Furthermore, when they inspected the spa, they found a horrible scene of syringes left exposed in drawers and on counters, syringes that had been thrown in regular trash instead of medical waste, unlabeled injections and blood tubes in the refrigerator with food, and disposable equipment that was being reused. To top it off, the facility did not have

an autoclave (high-pressure steam sterilizer) to sterilize the equipment.

The spa was immediately closed and its owner, Maria de Lourdes Ramos de Luis, was charged with practicing medicine without a license. She pleaded guilty to five charges in 2022 and is serving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

Continued investigation has identified a second woman who received a Vampire Facial in the summer of 2018, and a third woman who received three treatments in the spring and summer of 2018, and the third woman's male partner has also been confirmed to be HIV-positive, making her the fourth case.

The third woman and her male partner were found to have been infected with HIV before the woman received a vampire facial at the spa, due to the severity of their infections. Authorities found that the woman had tested positive for HIV in 2016, but said she was never notified of her result.

The first two women were diagnosed in a short time frame, meaning they were in the acute stage 1 of the three stages of infection, but the third woman and her male partner were only diagnosed in 2021 and both were diagnosed with stage 3 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) onset. In addition, a fifth woman was identified in 2023 who was also diagnosed with stage 3 and admitted to hospital.

The sequence of the virus from the five individuals showed that the five HIV strains were very similar and all the cases were closely related, but the unsanitary conditions at the spas led investigators to conclude that it was impossible to determine precisely how the infection spread at the spas, and that there may be more spa-goers who have not yet been diagnosed.

The CDC said, 'This study suggests that in people without risk factors for HIV infection, cosmetic injectable services should be considered a possible route of HIV infection. Additionally, requiring spas that offer cosmetic injectable services to use appropriate infection-prevention measures can help prevent the spread of HIV and other blood-borne pathogens.'

in Note, Posted by log1l_ks