At Least Three Women Were Infected With H.I.V. After ‘Vampire Facials’

At least three women were infected with H.I.V. during cosmetic “vampire facial” procedures at an unlicensed spa in Albuquerque, federal officials said Thursday. It is the first time that H.I.V. transmission through cosmetic injection services has been documented, they said.

The three were among a cluster of five people sharing highly similar H.I.V. strains, four of whom had undergone a procedure called platelet-rich plasma microneedling at the spa. The fifth individual, a man, had a sexual relationship with one of the women.

Investigators still do not know the precise source of the contamination. A 2018 H.I.V. diagnosis in a patron who reported having no behavioral risk factors led to a public health investigation when the woman said she had received a cosmetic treatment involving needles, called a platelet-rich plasma microneedling facial.

An inspection of the spa found unlabeled tubes of blood lying on a kitchen counter, others stored along with food in a refrigerator, and unwrapped syringes in drawers and trash cans.

The facility also appeared to be reusing disposable equipment intended for single use only, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report comes on the heels of an announcement by health officials earlier this month that they are investigating a string of illnesses tied to counterfeit or improperly injected Botox containing high amounts of the botulinum toxin, which is used in small doses to smooth wrinkles.

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