At least 3 women who got "vampire facials" in New Mexico were infected with H.I.V.

At least three women who visited an unlicensed spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico to get "vampire facials" tested positive for H.I.V.

During the spring and summer of 2018, the three spa patrons had undergone the skin-rejuvenating procedure—called a platelet-rich plasma microneedling facial, or "vampire facial"—which injects a serum made from the patient's own blood into their face.

Then, only months later, one of the women tested positive for H.I.V., even though she "reported having no behavioral risk factors," according to The New York Times.

Her diagnosis led to an investigation of the now defunct VIP Spa, in which investigators discovered two other spa-linked H.I.V. cases — one who was diagnosed just last year. And according to the New York Times, a fourth woman who had received the facial injections at the same New Mexico spa, along with a man she had sex with, are also infected with a "highly similar strain" of HIV — but they "had advanced H.I.V. disease" and may have been infected before visiting the spa.

Not only was the spa unlicensed, but it was visibly unsanitary, with "unlabeled tubes of blood lying on a kitchen counter, others stored along with food in a refrigerator, and unwrapped syringes in drawers and trash cans," reports the NYT.

These are reportedly the first cases of HIV linked to an injectable cosmetic procedure.

From The New York Times:

The facility also appeared to be reusing disposable equipment intended for single use only, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report comes on the heels of an announcement by health officials earlier this month that they are investigating a string of illnesses tied to counterfeit or improperly injected Botox containing high amounts of the botulinum toxin, which is used in small doses to smooth wrinkles. …

"When we did the inspection at the spa, it was clear that needles were being reused, and also clear that blood specimens were being reused," Dr. Stadelman-Behar said. "We found vials with no label, no date of birth, no date of collection, that had been punctured multiple times."

She advised people who receive these kinds of cosmetic procedures to ask providers to open syringes and vials in front of them, and to make sure that when their blood is drawn, the vials are properly labeled with their name, date of birth and date of collection.

The spa shuttered its doors in 2018 after the first spa-linked case of H.I.V. became public.

Boing Boing ran a similar post last July when two confirmed H.I.V. cases related to the spa were confirmed.