Health Care

Test Positive for HIV After Getting Vampire Facials at New Mexico Spa

The New Mexico Department of Health said in a news release Monday that two clients of VIP Spa in Albuquerque who received "vampire facials" a year ago were recently diagnosed with the same HIV strain.

The procedure in question was the so-called "Vampire Facial", a treatment that injects a person's own blood into their face in an attempt to improve skin health.

Two clients at a New Mexico spa that offered "vampire facials" were diagnosed with HIV after receiving treatments, prompting health officials to urge more former patients of the now-shuttered business to get tested for the virus.

The news of the HIV infections has sparked fears other spa users may have been exposed to the disease, The Sun reports.

According to the NMDOH press release, the only potential exposure to HIV among the two HIV-infected clients was the injection-related procedure they underwent at the spa. Two people were found to have contracted the virus after visiting the spa between May and September 2018.

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"While over 100 VIP Spa clients have already been tested, NMDOH is reaching out to ensure that testing and counseling services are available for individuals who received injection related services at the VIP Spa", Kathy Kunkel, New Mexico Department of Health's cabinet secretary, said in a written statement on Monday.

"The likelihood that these resulted from a procedure at the spa are high", Dr. Tierney Murphy, a medical epidemiologist with the health department, told local television station KRQE News 13.

In September, the VIP Spa closed after an inspection by the health department revealed the spa's practices could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, to clients. "I think it's absolutely paramount to make sure that that is occurring".

The New Mexico Department of Health noted on Monday that anyone "desiring cosmetic services involving needle injections should verify the services are being provided by a licensed medical provider".

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