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New HIV infections occur after vampire facial at unlicensed spa

New HIV infections occur after vampire facial at unlicensed spa
New HIV infections occur after vampire facial at unlicensed spa


At least three customers signed up for unlicensed New Mexico spa HIV After receiving a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) microneedle facial, according to investigation According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The investigation, which spanned five years and is still partially ongoing, resulted in the closure of the spa and raised questions about safety at beauty clinics.

Although there is a known risk of HIV transmission from non-sterile injection practices, this is the first time that HIV transmission has been linked to cosmetic injection services, said Anna Stadelman-Behar, MD, of the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service.

PRP treatment, also known as a vampire facial, involves drawing the patient's own blood and separating it in a centrifuge. The part that contains a lot of platelet It is then reinjected using a syringe or microneedle device.

“The idea is that when you inject this concentrated amount of platelets, the growth factors they release help stimulate regenerative properties in the area,” says Anthony Rossi, MD, professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell University in New York. He sees a dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The infection under investigation first became apparent when a woman was diagnosed with HIV infection, with no known risk factors other than exposure to a microneedling facial at a beauty spa.

The New Mexico Department of Health and the CDC launched an investigation into the spa and found a series of “serious violations of infection control practices,” Städelman-Behar said.

Infection control violation

At a spa in New Mexico, investigators found:

  • On the kitchen counter, a centrifuge, a heated drying bath, and a rack of unlabeled tubes of blood.
  • The refrigerator holds unlabeled blood tubes and medical injections. botox and lidocaine stored with food
  • Unwrapped syringes are placed in a drawer or counter and disposed of in a regular trash can.
  • There is no autoclave for steam sterilization on site
  • Only surface cleaning of treatment instruments Ammonium chloride Disinfectant spray and benzalkonium chloride disinfectant wipes after each customer visit
  • Disposable electric desiccator tips that can be cleaned and reused by just soaking in alcohol

The spa's owner operated from multiple locations without proper licensing and did not have an appointment scheduling system to store customer contact information.

Investigators contacted as many people as they could and began a massive community outreach effort to find more people.

A total of four customers and one customer's intimate partner were diagnosed with HIV during the investigation, but one customer and his partner were likely infected prior to their spa visit. It was judged.

It is unclear whether the infections were caused by unlabeled, contaminated blood products being administered to the wrong customer or by contamination of shared needles. Investigators were not authorized to collect specimens that could have been studied during the site visit.

“We cannot say for sure what the route of contamination was,” Städelmann-Behar points out.

Dr. Ann Chapas, an instructor and board-certified dermatologist at Mount Saini Hospital in New York, adds that just because a procedure is cosmetic doesn't mean it's not medical. He said: “Personally, I think it should only be done by medical professionals who understand the risks.”

medical treatment

PRP microneedling is widely used in orthopedic surgery to promote joint regeneration. For the past decade, it has also been used in dermatology to treat hair loss due to alopecia and to strengthen hair. wound healingand cosmetically reduce facial wrinkles.

This is usually done in a doctor's office or medical spa, and the procedure takes about 30 minutes.

Städelmann-Behar said this ongoing investigation highlights the importance of frontline healthcare workers using their clinical expertise to identify potential new routes of infection. “It was a health worker-driven hunch that prompted this investigation, so it's important that we let the health department know if there's anything wrong with the exposure that patients may have had,” she said. .




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