ALERT: CDC Confirms More HIV Cases Linked to ‘Vampire Facials’ 

CDC Confirms More HIV Cases Linked to 'Vampire Facials'. Credit | iStock
CDC Confirms More HIV Cases Linked to 'Vampire Facials'. Credit | iStock

United States: The CDC has linked at least three cases of HIV to a New Mexico spa investigated for transmission during “vampire facials.” 

State Health Department’s Advisory 

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) issued a warning to former clients of IP Beauty Salon and Spa (VIP Spa) in July last year. The spa, located in downtown Albuquerque, underwent a thorough investigation after the first HIV case was reported, as reported by USA Today. 

As per the DOH reports, at the time of incidence, customers who received “injection-related service,” which included a vampire facial or Botox injections, might also have been exposed to blood-borne illness. 

The salon was shut down on September 7, 2018, after the state’s investigation revealed issues such as blood-borne infections, including HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, that could have been spread due to the spa’s practices. 

CDC Confirms More HIV Cases Linked to 'Vampire Facials'. Credit | Unsplash
CDC Confirms More HIV Cases Linked to ‘Vampire Facials’. Credit | Unsplash

In 2019, tests confirmed that the two HIV cases linked to the spa were connected to the procedures offered. 

About “Vampire Facial” Cases 

The City’s Department of Health’s Environmental Safety Infectious Diseases Bureau received a 2023 report about a patient who was associated with sharing injection material provided by the spa. 

However, this case, in particular, is believed to be a result of such a procedure, which was a blend of two processes called “vampire facials” and “PRP facials.” Such procedures required microneedling and topical application of plasma from the customer’s own blood. 

Following this disclosure, the DOH initiated free testing and set up multiple testing sites. In 2023, the CDC diagnosed five individuals with HIV, including four women who had received healthcare at the salon and one man who was the intimate partner of the first patient, according to CDC sources. 

All four women had undergone PRP microneedling at least once at the spa. Two of the patients had severe infections, indicating they were already infected with the virus before receiving treatment at the spa. 

The other three patients did not have any known HIV risk factors except for a common one; none of them had social contact with each other, and there was no confirmed transmission of the disease between them, according to the CDC. 

Expert Conclusions 

Therefore, the agency concluded, “Evidence suggests that contamination from an undetermined source at the spa during spring and summer 2018 resulted in HIV-1 transmission to these three patients,” as USA Today reported. 

Overall, the investigative team found that 59 clients were at risk of contracting HIV out of the total 198 spa clients tested, including their sexual partners, from 2018 to 2023.