HIV transmission linked to vampire facials, CDC says

4 Min Read

According to a report published on Thursday by the CDC. Investigators note that the New Mexico spa that provided the cosmetic treatments engaged in several unsafe practices, including leaving unlabeled vials of blood on a counter and in a kitchen refrigerator. This unlicensed facility has since closed.

Often referred to as vampire facials, PRP microneedling involves using needles to create small holes in the skin. Platelet-rich plasma, obtained from the client, is then added to the perforated skin. According to proponents, the process can reduce wrinkles associated with aging and reduce the appearance of scars. The Association of the American Academy of Dermatology states that “there is little evidence to show that it works – or doesn’t work.”

The New Mexico Department of Health began investigating this incident when a woman tested positive for HIV and reported no known risk factors for HIV exposure other than receiving a PRP microneedling facial in 2018. Ultimately, CDC and NMHD officials identified two other individuals who received vampire facials. at the same spa in 2018 and subsequently tested positive for HIV. A fourth client also tested positive, but researchers believe she was likely infected before visiting the spa. Her sexual partner also tested positive.

To determine whether the infections in these people were linked, researchers sequenced the patients’ specific viral genes. The sequences of all five individuals were very similar. This result indicates a common source exposure. The individuals reported no common contacts and no common risk factors other than undergoing this procedure at the spa. Thus, officials concluded that three of the individuals in the establishment became infected.

The exact mode of transmission could not be determined. The transmission may be the result of the reuse of needles or the reuse of blood-containing vials.

The transmission of HIV through blood products and shared needles is well documented. Indeed, a 1982 report shows The Lancet describes the likely transmission of HIV to a child through a blood transfusion. Also in 1982, the CDC reported the appearance of HIV/AIDS in people with hemophilia. In 2021, nearly a tenth of new HIV infections occurred in the US people who inject drugs. However, the likely transmission of HIV through cosmetic services such as vampire facials has not been previously documented.

When performed properly, cosmetic treatments such as microneedling and Botox injections should not pose a risk of HIV transmission. However, this report illustrates the potential risk associated with these services and the importance of basic safety measures. More generally, it illustrates the value of harm reduction strategies. For people who inject drugs, needle exchange programs and similar syringe service programs reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C. These programs should be embraced.

See also  Explanation US agency unveils plan to ease electricity transmission crisis By Reuters
Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *