"Vampire facials" at New Mexico spa linked to two HIV cases

NMDOH 2 former spa clients confirmed to have HIV

The New Mexico Department of Health shut down a spa in Albuquerque in 2018 which was conducting the facial treatments, and has urged those who had a blood facial to get tested, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Both customers recently contracted the same strain of the HIV virus, though it is not certain that their spa treatments were responsible.

But a health spa performing the procedure may have given two patients HIV from contaminated needles, United States health officials said.

The agency says more than 100 people have already been tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C. Testing is free and confidential.

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Owner Luly Ruiz told KOAT News in September that she was cooperating with the health department, but only used disposable needles, and took care to open each new needle in front of her client.

"Qualified medical professionals handle blood all day long without serious problems (in emergency rooms, in operating rooms, and in offices), and this procedure is even safer since it's done with the patient's own blood", the statement said.

A vampire facial, also known as a plasma-rich protein facial, involves injecting nutrient-rich plasma into the skin on your face using a tool called a micro-needling pen.

On Monday, the NMDOH said that "laboratory testing on specimens from the two clients indicates recent infection with the same HIV virus, increasing the likelihood that the two HIV infections may have resulted from a procedure at the VIP Spa".

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Kim Kardashian has a "vampire facial".

The VIP Spa closed in September past year after an inspection by the New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Barbers and Cosmetologists Board found unsafe practices that could have spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, to clients.

The beauty treatment was made popular by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West who had the facial during an episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" in 2013. Other names for the facials are PRP facials (platelet-rich plasma facials) or PRP injections.

The treatment seems a little extreme, but it might be helpful to your skin, according to Bruce E. Katz, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist.

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The gory-looking procedure is touted as a treatment for fine lines, acne scars, sun damage and pigmentation. "I think it's absolutely paramount to make sure that that is occurring".

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