New HIV cases linked to spa that closed after ‘vampire facial’ clients tested positive for virus

US News

New HIV infections have been linked to a spa in the United States that offered so-called vampire facials.

The VIP Spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, closed in September 2018 after two clients tested positive for HIV following the procedures.

The New Mexico Department of Health has now reopened an investigation after another former client tested positive for HIV in March.

A total of five HIV infections have been identified among people “with direct or indirect connection with services provided at the VIP Spa,” a department spokesperson said.

Health officials are asking former clients to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The department is advising those who previously tested negative to test again.

VIP Spa offered Botox injections and vampire facials.

The vampire procedures – which have previously been endorsed by stars including Kim Kardashian – involve blood being drawn from a client’s body, usually their arm.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is then separated from the blood using a centrifuge before the fluid is reinjected back into the client’s face.

Proponents of the procedure – which usually cost between $1,000 (£770) and $3,000 (£2,300) – claim it can reduce wrinkles, dull skin and acne scarring by stimulating new collagen production.

The owner of the VIP Spa pleaded guilty in June 2022 to five counts of practicing medicine without a license.

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More than 100 former salon clients were tested in 2018 and 2019 as part of the initial investigation.

The New Mexico health department is hosting free walk-in testing for former clients this month.

“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,” Laura Parajon, deputy secretary of the health department, said.

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