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HIV diagnoses linked to ‘vampire’ facials at New Mexico spa

HIV diagnoses linked to ‘vampire’ facials at New Mexico spa

HIV ribbon

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is investigating after two people who received vampire facials at the Albuquerque VIP Spa were diagnosed with HIV.

Health officials say the two people contracted the same strain of the virus. This reportedly increases the likelihood of the spa being the location for the diagnoses.

The two clients got the facials sometime between May and September 2018. A vampire facial is where a person receives injections of their own blood into their face. It’s supposed to rejuvenate the skin.

VIP Spa closed on 7 September 2018 after an inspection revealed the mishandling of practices that can cause the transmission of blood-related infections.

The importance of testing

‘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,’ said Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel.

‘Testing is important for everyone as there are effective treatments for HIV and many hepatitis infections.’

The department has not found any evidence of other procedures risking HIV exposure.

Kim Kardashian-West popularized the facial when she underwent one publicly on an episode of Kim and Kourtney Take Miami, a spin-off of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

The facial is also known as the PRP (platelet-rich plasma) facial.

Kardashian-West late revealed she regretted the facial due to the pain of the procedure.

NMDOH is currently encouraging anyone who received treatment at the spa to come in for free HIV and hepatitis B and C testing.

See also

Gay US politician confronts PrEP stigma

After serious HIV data breach, businesses promise to end HIV discrimination

Scientists develop all-in-one approach that ‘kicks and kills’ HIV