Often touted by celebrities, the so-called Vampire Facial is said to provide ostensible rejuvenation benefits. The non-surgical procedure involves injecting the client’s own blood into their face using micro needles Recently, in New Mexico, this very procedure has garnered worry after being linked to two cases of HIV.
Vampire facials gained popularity after Kim Kardashian West posted an Instagram photo of herself after undergoing the facial in 2013 at a different spa facility. She has since come out against the procedure.
The spa where the cases have been linked has been closed since Sept. 7, 2018, after a state inspection revealed “practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients,” according to the news release.
The New Mexico Department of Health first warned that clients of the since-closed VIP Spa in Albuquerque should be tested for possible blood-borne infections—including HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C—last fall after an inspection found the spa’s practices could have put some clients at risk.
The New Mexico Department of Health began offering free HIV and hepatitis B and C testing shortly after VIP Spa’s shuttering, as well as counselling. More than 100 people have already been tested, according to the agency.
In a news release Monday, The New Mexico Department of Health said that two clients of VIP Spa in Albuquerque who received “vampire facials” last year were recently diagnosed with the same HIV strain. Officials said the two people visited the spa between May and September of 2018.
“Additional 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,” the agency said in a statement.