Vampire Facials Result in HIV Horror Stories

Unlicensed medical spa responsible for three women’s HIV diagnoses

Just weeks after a report by the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) labelled Scotland the “worst country in Europe” for unqualified individuals carrying out non-surgical cosmetic treatments, a terrifying story has emerged from New Mexico. It’s reported that three women have been diagnosed with HIV after getting ‘vampire facials’ at an unlicensed medical spa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added these incidents are the first documented cases of HIV being transmitted by a cosmetic procedure using needles.

The investigation launched after a woman in her 40’s discovered she had tested positive for HIV despite having no known risk factors. She had however been exposed to needles at a spa when she had received a “vampire facial” earlier that year.

In the following six years, the investigation continued, and two more ladies who had attended the spa were found to have contracted the virus. The CDC also noted that the poor record-keeping of the business had caused the investigation to move slowly since they could not get in contact with potentially infected clients.

The spa closed in Autumn 2018 when the investigation was first launched, and its owner was prosecuted for practising medicine without a licence. The CDC’s investigation concluded that the spa had reused disposable equipment intended for one-time use. The report said the investigation showed how important infection control practices at businesses that offer cosmetic procedures involving needles are.

Susanne McGraw, Head of Personal Injury at Watermans, explained the importance of infection control –

“It is so important that people are careful as to the salon they choose to get a procedure done. If they are at all concerned about a salon they should walk out or ask questions and if still not satisfied then leave. Infection control should not be a tick box or an afterthought for these salons and this shows what can happen if it is.”

“What these women are now going to endure for the rest of their lives is unthinkable. Hygiene standards in places like cosmetic salons should be as stringent as it is in a doctor’s surgery or a dentist. This is another example of why regulation of cosmetic procedures and salons is long overdue.”

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