OAN’s Brooke Mallory
3:31 PM – Monday, July 10, 2023
A new HIV case has been linked to a “vampire facial” at a New Mexico spa that closed down years ago, state health authorities said on Wednesday.
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the patient’s only self-reported HIV risk exposure was a vampire facial they paid for at VIP Spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, back in 2018.
The spa customer tested positive in 2023, but the spa closed in September 2018 after state inspectors discovered activities that might possibly expose clients to blood-borne illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Two additional customers also tested positive for HIV at the same time as the initial investigation.
“The vampire facial, also known as microneedling with PRP, is a cosmetic procedure that involves drawing blood from your arm, separating platelets and injecting them back onto your face,” according to Columbia Skin Clinic.
The therapy has been shown to minimize pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles while also rejuvenating the skin.
Kim Kardashian was one celebrity who popularized vampire facials when she posted an Instagram selfie after receiving the treatment at a separate spa facility in 2013.
Former VIP spa customers who had any sort of injection-related service, including a vampire facial or Botox injections, are now being urged to test themselves for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
More than 100 former clients were tested as part of the original probe in 2018 and 2019, but health officials stated that past VIP clients should be retested as well, even if they tested negative initially.
“It’s very important that we spread the word and remind people who received any kind of injection-related to services provided at the VIP Spa to come in for free and confidential testing,” said Dr. Laura Parajon, deputy secretary for the health department.
According to the health authorities, more HIV infections have been found with a “direct or indirect connection to services provided” at VIP Spa as of Wednesday.
The agency has not stated how many individuals tested positive for HIV.
Maria Ramos de Ruiz, the former owner of VIP Spa, pleaded guilty in June 2022 to five felony counts of practicing medicine without a license, according to CBS station KRQE. She received a three-and-a-half-year jail term.
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