Women Contracted HIV After Getting “Vampire Facial” At unlicensed Spa

Shivani Arora
December 13, 2004 / Broomfield Colo / Debbie Palasek from Spa Medica gives Melissa Smith of Denver a facials at Village at Flatiron Crossing mall in Broomfield December 13, 2004. Spa Medica is one of the burgeoning medical spa movement, blending medical and cosmetic treatments in a spa setting. (Sammy Dallal /Daily Camera)(Photo by Sammy Dallal/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images)

Three women were likely infected with HIV while receiving a so-called vampire facial at a New Mexico spa, marking the first known cases of the virus being transmitted during a cosmetic injection procedure, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vampire facial is considered to be a more affordable and less invasive option than getting a facelift. During the facial, a person’s blood is drawn from their arm, and then platelets are separated out and applied to the patient’s face using microneedles. Although affordable, this process can be a serious health hazard if done in unsanitary conditions.

The first case linked to the VIP Spa in Albuquerque was discovered in 2018 and prompted the New Mexico Department of Health to offer free testing to anyone who got injections at the facility.

This alarming revelation, detailed in a report by the US health agency, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlights the serious risks associated with unregulated establishments that offer both medical and beauty services.

The spa in question was shut down in 2018 for operating without proper licenses and for failing to adhere to safe infection control practices.

Its owner is currently serving a prison sentence for practising medicine without a license, according to the Washington Post.

As per the CDC, the chain of events began when a former client tested positive for HIV in 2018 after undergoing a vampire facial at the spa.

“Requiring adequate infection control practices at spa facilities offering cosmetic injection services can help prevent the transmission of HIV and other bloodborne pathogens. Maintenance of client records could facilitate investigations of suspected transmission at such facilities,” CDC said.

What is Vampire Facial?

PRP facial treatments, or “vampire facials” are an extremely popular anti-aging treatment. The Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) facial rejuvenation uses your own blood to promote collagen production and trigger growth factors.

The groundbreaking solution for aging or damaged skin pairs microneedling with a plasma “serum,” leaving skin looking younger, smoother, and overall healthier.

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I am Shivani Arora, a media student who is working as a freelancer Content Writer, news writer and social media handler with different agencies. I am a post graduate student who is self motivated and a hardworking person. My main aim is to excel in my career by learning and exploring new things.
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