The New Mexico Department of Health is warning people who visited a now-closed spa to get themselves tested after two clients who received injection-related procedures contracted HIV.
On Monday, the health authority released a second notice encouraging clients of the now-closed VIP Spa in Alburqueque, N.M. to come in for free and confidential testing for HIV, as well as for hepatitis B and C. In its press release, the department said anyone who received an injection-related procedure, including a vampire facial, at the spa between May and September 2018 could have been infected.
A vampire facial, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) facial, is a controversial skin treatment popularized by Kim Kardashian in 2013, which involves using needles to take samples of blood and extracting the plasma from it before injecting it back into the client’s face.
The procedure is touted as being able to rejuvenate the skin by boosting the turnover of skin cells, but its benefits remain disputed.
According to the NMDOH, the two former spa clients were recently infected with the same HIV virus, which they said increases the likelihood they may have contracted the virus from a procedure at the VIP Spa.
“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.
The health department’s investigation has not identified any other potential exposures for HIV transmission for the two clients other than injection-related procedures at the spa, the press release said.
Kathy Kunkel, the NMDOH’s cabinet secretary, said more than 100 clients of the VIP Spa have already been tested.
“Testing is important for everyone as there are effective treatments for HIV and many hepatitis infections,” she said in the press release.
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.
Kathy Ortiz, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s deputy director of boards and commissions, said the spa’s owner didn’t have a licence and they ordered a cease and desist order on the business.
In its public notice, the health department advised anyone interested in receiving a cosmetic service that involves needle injections to verify the procedure will be delivered by a licensed medical provider.View this post on Instagram