HIV, five cases appear after the “vampire facelift”, the treatment that is now scary

Four women and the partner of one of them contracted HIV after experiencing a beauty treatment called “vampire facial”, also known as a vampire facelift. The curious names of the procedure, formally known as Platelet Rich Plasma or Prp, are linked to the fact that it is based on the patient's blood sample, from which the platelets are extracted by centrifugation.

Next, platelets are mixed with plasma and injected under the skin to improve tone, reduce wrinkles and rejuvenate the face, although scientific evidence is mixed regarding its effectiveness.

What is the “vampire facial” about?

The term “vampire facial” is also associated with the effect that temporarily manifests itself during the treatment, characterized by the appearance of red spots on the face. Although minimally invasive treatment is generally considered safe, when performed in unauthorized centers that do not adhere to essential safety regulations there may be significant risks to clients, especially considering the use of blood and blood injection devices.

The vampire facelift is an increasingly popular beauty procedure, especially thanks to the advertising made by some VIPs on social networks. Among them too Kim Kardashian, who in 2015 published a photo of herself on Instagram immediately after being subjected to PRP.

The five cases of HIV were detected among four clients of a beauty center Albuquerque, New Mexico, together with the partner of one of them. This finding is the result of an investigation conducted by the New Mexico Department of Health in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It all began in 2018, when a woman contracted the virus despite not having had sexual intercourse outside of her stable relationship, not using drugs and not having undergone transfusions, all situations that can catalyze the risk of contract the infection. In a short time, the beauty center in question was identified, where the woman had undergone the vampire facelift treatment.

“This investigation identified a cluster associated with the receipt of cosmetic injection services at an unlicensed facility that did not follow recommended infection control procedures or maintain client records,” the Centers for Disease Control said.

Beauty center in the storm: all violations

The beauty center involved not only operated without the medical authorization necessary to carry out the delicate aesthetic procedure, but the investigations revealed a series of serious violations of basic safety standards.

Among these, they were found unlabeled blood tubes, stored with food in the refrigerator, syringes abandoned in disarray in drawers and on the counter, and the absence of a suitable steam sterilization system. Furthermore, the business, which was suspended and the owner jailed, didn't even have a business complete customer register. This involved several years of work to contact at least some of the approximately 200 customers and inform them of the risk of exposure to HIV, inviting them to undergo specific checks and take the necessary measures for their safety and peace of mind.