What is Vampire Facial? Three women in New Mexico contract HIV after trying 'scary' beauty trend

This 'scary' cosmetic procedure is also quite popular among celebrities, as Kim Kardashian and Deepika Padukone have reportedly both opted for it as well.

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In a bizzare development, at least three women in New Mexico contracted HIV after partaking in an unusual beauty trend. Known as the “Vampire Facial”, this scary and unusual trend which involves one's own blood, resulted in those women being the first to contract HIV from a cosmetic procedure. But the question arises, what are Vampire Facials? More importantly, how did a cosmetic procedure result in transmission of HIV? Here is what we know:


What are Vampire Facials?


Vampire Facials is colloquial term for Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) facials. As the name suggests, in the procedure a patient’s blood is taken out and the plasma rich cells are separated from their blood using a centrifuge. It is then injected back into the patient’s face through tiny needle punctures. The procedure claims to help repair the skin by stimulating production of new collagen and elastin. This results in a younger looking skin with less wrinkles and scars.


How did the women contract HIV?


The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in US reported in 2018 that a woman from New Mexico had contracted HIV while they were abroad. None of the women had prior history of drug injection, blood transfusion or recent sexual contact other their partners. However, she had bought a vampire facial from earlier that year in New Mexico.


The CDC launched an investigation into the spa that administered the facial and found that it was unlicensed and followed multiple unsafe injection protocols. The spa also administers other injection based services including botox. This included unlabelled tubes of blood and used injections as well as unwrapped syringes. Not only this, some of the blood vials were found to be reused.


How dangerous are Vampire facials?


Vampire facials are also a favourite among celebs such as reality TV personality Kim Kardashian. Closer home too, the beauty treatment has quite a big fan base, with the likes of actor Deepika Padukone and reality show star Seema Sajdeh opting for it. Experts say it is mostly in demand during the wedding and party seasons, but they caution us to tread the path carefully.


Experts also warn that a routine procedure can turn lethal if done wrong. The treatment must be done to ensure that the same sample taken from one patient is injected into their face only. The risk of HIV occurs when there is a mixing up of the blood when injecting. It is important to note that there are alternative methods that yield similar results such as medifacials, medical peels, laser skin rejuvenation, as per experts.


True Scoop advises to do your own due diligence before opting for a medical procedure.