CDC says 3 women diagnosed with HIV after vampire facial, popularised by Kim Kardashian; know more | Life-style News

CDC says 3 women diagnosed with HIV after vampire facial, popularised by Kim Kardashian; know more | Life-style News


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of HIV risk with vampire facial — a platelet-rich plasma microneedling procedure — that has led three women to be diagnosed with HIV at an unlicensed medical spa in United States’ New Mexico. The investigative report believes it to be the first documented case of people contracting the virus through the cosmetic procedure, popularised by reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian.

The April 25 report stated,”HIV transmitted through cosmetic injection services via contaminated blood has not been previously documented”.

The report added that during the summer of 2018, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) was notified of a diagnosis of HIV infection in a woman with no known HIV risk factors who reported exposure to needles from cosmetic platelet-rich plasma microneedling facials (vampire facials) received at a spa in spring 2018. “An investigation of the spa’s services began in the summer of 2018, and NMDOH and CDC identified four former spa clients, and one sexual partner of a spa client, all of whom received HIV infection diagnoses during 2018–2023, despite low reported behavioral risks associated with HIV acquisition,” it read.

hiv aids Human immunodeficiency virus affects the immune system (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

It further noted that although transmission of HIV via unsterile injection practices is a known risk, “determining novel routes of HIV transmission among persons with no known HIV risk factors is important”.

The report evaluated the patient who received a positive HIV antigen/antibody rapid test result. The patient reported no injection drug use, recent blood transfusions, or recent sexual contact with anyone other than her current sexual partner, who received a negative HIV test result after the patient’s diagnosis. “However, the patient did report exposure to needles during a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) microneedling procedure in spring 2018 at spa A in New Mexico. The procedure involves drawing a client’s blood, separating the blood into its components of plasma and cells, and using single-use disposable or multiuse sterile equipment to inject the PRP into the face for cosmetic purposes, such as skin rejuvenation and reducing the appearance of acne scars,” it read.

What is Vampire Facial?

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The cosmetic procedure involves drawing blood from your arm after which it is processed through a machine to remove platelets. “The therapy makes use of the platelets in the plasma to stimulate collagen production, promoting skin rejuvenation,” said Dr Monica Bambroo, head, cosmetology and dermatology at Artemis Hospitals.

What is HIV?

CDC defines HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) as a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. “If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome),” it reads, adding that there is currently no effective cure. “Once people get HIV, they have it for life,” it adds.

With proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. “People with HIV who get effective HIV treatment can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners,” it states.

When is there a risk of infection?

Regarding the recent cases highlighting HIV transmission through vampire facials, it’s important to note that such cases are extremely rare, said Dr Bambroo. “However, the risk arises if proper sterilisation procedures aren’t followed during the procedure. If the equipment used isn’t properly sterilised between patients, there’s a potential for bloodborne infections like HIV to be transmitted,” said Dr Bambroo.

To mitigate these risks, it’s important to ensure that the person performing the procedure follows strict sterilisation protocols. “This includes using disposable needles and equipment or thoroughly sterilising reusable ones.  Furthermore, the healthcare provider must be trained in bloodborne pathogen control and have proper certifications,” stressed Dr Bambroo.


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