'Vampire facials' were linked to cases of HIV. Here's what to know about the beauty treatment


Beware: 'Vampire facials' tied to HIV cases. What to know.

CDC Report: Vampire Facial Linked to HIV Transmission in New Mexico


'Vampire facials' were linked to cases of HIV. Here's what to know about the beauty treatment

Albuquerque, New Mexico — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report revealing that three women were diagnosed with HIV after undergoing "vampire facial" procedures at an unlicensed medical spa in New Mexico. This marks the first documented cases of individuals contracting the virus through cosmetic services involving needles.


The investigation, conducted from 2018 to 2023, focused on VIP Spa in Albuquerque. It found evidence suggesting that the clinic reused disposable equipment meant for single use, leading to the transmission of HIV to clients through contaminated blood.


Vampire facials, also known as platelet-rich plasma microneedling facials, are cosmetic procedures aimed at skin rejuvenation, reducing acne scars, and wrinkles. The process involves drawing a client's blood, separating platelets and cells, and injecting the plasma into the face using either single-use disposable or multiuse sterile needles.


Despite the popularity of vampire facials, health officials emphasize the importance of proper infection control and maintenance of client records to prevent the transmission of bloodborne pathogens like HIV. While the procedure itself is generally considered safe, concerns arise when performed in unlicensed or non-medical settings.


The investigation into VIP Spa revealed alarming conditions, including equipment contamination, unlabeled blood tubes, and improper disposal of syringes. The absence of essential sterilization equipment further raised concerns about sanitation practices at the facility.


In response to the investigation, nearly 200 former clients of the spa, along with their sexual partners, underwent HIV testing, with no additional infections detected. Free testing remains available for those who frequented the spa previously.


The owner of VIP Spa, Maria de Lourdes Ramos de Ruiz, pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of practicing medicine without a license, including administering unlicensed vampire facials. Inspections by state health and regulatory agencies uncovered numerous violations, leading to the closure of the spa in 2018.


Ramos de Ruiz was sentenced to 7 1/2 years, with a portion suspended on supervised probation and the remainder to be served in prison and parole.


The case underscores the importance of receiving medical procedures in licensed, reputable facilities, as highlighted by clinical dermatologist Zakia Rahman. Despite the allure of discounted services, the potential risks associated with non-medical settings far outweigh the benefits, emphasizing the need for stringent safety measures and adherence to regulations in cosmetic practices.



CRN News Update - Latest Breaking News: 'Vampire facials' were linked to cases of HIV. Here's what to know about the beauty treatment
'Vampire facials' were linked to cases of HIV. Here's what to know about the beauty treatment
Beware: 'Vampire facials' tied to HIV cases. What to know.
CRN News Update - Latest Breaking News
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