CDC: 3 women get HIV from cosmetic treatment

The CDC reported that three women who received a vampire facial have contracted HIV.

Three women in New Mexico were diagnosed with HIV after receiving “vampire facial” procedures at an unlicensed medical spa.

These cases are believed to be the first documented instances of HIV transmission through a cosmetic procedure using needles.


Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the investigation into the clinic revealed reused disposable equipment intended for one-time use.

  • While HIV transmission from contaminated blood through unsterile injection is a known risk, this is the first documentation of probable infections related to cosmetic services.
  • Popular cosmetic treatments like Botox and fillers involve the use of needles, as well as “vampire facials” which use plasma injections to rejuvenate the skin.

The big picture: The investigation was initiated by the New Mexico Department of Health after a woman in her 40s tested positive for HIV without any known risk factors, reporting exposure to needles through the procedure at the clinic.

  • The spa was closed in 2018, and its owner faced prosecution for practicing medicine without a license.
  • The report emphasizes the importance of infection control practices at businesses offering cosmetic procedures and suggests that better record-keeping is necessary for future contact with clients if needed.
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