First documented cases of HIV transmission through cosmetic needles

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Three women diagnosed with HIV after undergoing a “vampire facial” at an unlicensed medical spa in New Mexico are believed to be the primary documented cases People became infected with the virus through a cosmetic procedure involving needles, federal health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week in its morbidity and mortality report that an investigation of the clinic from 2018 to 2023 found it appeared to reuse disposable, single-use devices.

Although HIV transmission through contaminated blood through unsterile injections is a known risk, the report said this was the primary documentation of likely infections related to cosmetic services.

Many popular cosmetic treatments are performed with needles, equivalent to Botox for smoothing wrinkles and fillers for plump lips. A “vampire facial,” or platelet-rich plasma microneedling, involves drawing a client’s own blood, separating its components, after which using tiny needles to inject plasma into the face to rejuvenate the skin. Needles are also required for tattoos.

The New Mexico Department of Health began investigate in the summertime of 2018, the spa after it was revealed that a lady in her 40s had tested positive for HIV despite having no known risk aspects. The woman reported that she was exposed to needles in the course of the procedure on the clinic within the spring.

The report said the research showed the importance of requiring infection control measures at firms that provide cosmetic procedures involving needles.

It also noted that the investigation was slowed by poor record-keeping and that firms offering such services should keep higher records in case customers have to be contacted later.

image credit :