'Vampire facial' patients have contracted HIV, health officials warn

NMDOH 2 former spa clients confirmed to have HIV

NMDOH 2 former spa clients confirmed to have HIV

The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Monday that laboratory tests indicated that the two clients were infected with the same virus, increasing the likelihood that the infections may have resulted from a procedure at the spa.

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is urging people who visited a now-closed Albuquerque spa to get themselves tested for HIV after two people contracted the virus following a so-called 'vampire facial'.

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

The spa's owner previously told KOAT Action News that she is cooperating with health officials and that she only uses disposable needles.

According to a report from the Albequerque Journal, New Mexico Department Of Health shut down VIP spa for unsanitary practices in 2018, and urged anyone who had the vampire facial treatment - in which a technician takes a sample of your blood and then injects it back into your face - between the months of May to September previous year to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections.

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The NMDOH is strongly encouraging people who received injection-related procedures at the VIP Spa in Tijeras Avenue to take advantage of free HIV testing.

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. That plasma typically comes from your own blood. If the micro-needling pen, for instance, isn't properly sterilized between multiple clients' procedures, then customers could be exposed to blood-borne diseases.

The spa offered several procedures, including the "vampire facial", which extracts platelets from a client's blood that is then injected back into the patient's face through micro-needling, KRQE reported.

"Just make sure you're seeing everything being done in front you", he said.

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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