HIV Case Reported in New Mexico Linked to Vampire Facial Offered at A Local Spa

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A new HIV case has been linked to a “vampire facial” performed at a New Mexico spa, years after the establishment was shut down, state health officials announced on Wednesday.

The only HIV risk exposure self-reported by the patient was a vampire facial received at VIP Spa in Albuquerque back in 2018, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

Although the spa client tested positive in 2023, VIP Spa had already closed in September 2018 after state inspectors discovered practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections, including HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. During the initial investigation, two other clients had tested positive for HIV.

A vampire facial involves drawing a patient’s blood and then injecting components of that blood back into the face using micro needles. This procedure is said to reduce pore size and help with fine lines, rejuvenating the skin.

The health department is advising former clients who had any injection-related service, such as a vampire facial or Botox injections at VIP Spa, to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

HIV Infection Visualization (Photo: Getty Images)

Over 100 former clients were tested in 2018 and 2019 as part of the initial investigation, but health officials recommend retesting, even for those who initially tested negative.

“It’s very important that we spread the word and remind people who received any kind of injection-related services provided at the VIP Spa to come in for free and confidential testing,” stated Dr. Laura Parajon, deputy secretary for the health department.

As of Wednesday, the health department reported identifying additional HIV infections with “direct or indirect connection with services provided” at VIP Spa.

The department did not specify the number of positive cases or what constitutes an indirect connection. CBS News has sought clarification from the health department.

Vampire facials gained popularity when Kim Kardashian posted an Instagram photo of herself after undergoing the procedure in 2013 at a different spa facility. She has since spoken out against the procedure.

Former VIP Spa owner Maria Ramos de Ruiz pleaded guilty in June 2022 to five felony counts of practicing medicine without a license, as reported by CBS affiliate KRQE. She was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

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