2 spa clients contract HIV after facial

Henrietta Brewer
May 2, 2019

The clients received "vampire facials" at the VIP Spa between May and September 2018, according to the press release.

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.

The VIP Spa closed in September a year ago after an inspection by the New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Barbers and Cosmetologists Board found unsafe practices that could have spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, to clients.

Two sites are now offering VIP Spa customers free testing for the viruses.

Among the injection procedures offered by VIP was the vampire facial, which pulls, then re-inserts the client's own blood into their face with micro-needling to refresh skin.


The VIP Spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was closed by health officials after it was determined two clients tested positive for HIV.

The NMDOH is strongly encouraging people who received injection-related procedures at the VIP Spa in Tijeras Avenue to take advantage of free HIV testing.

More than 130 former patients of VIP Spa in Albuquerque have been tested after New Mexico health officials confirmed a second client contracted HIV after receiving "injected-related" procedures at the facility, KRQE reported.

According to some beauticians, the platelet-rich blood helps boost skin growth and smooth out wrinkles.

Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel said Monday that more than 100 clients of the spa have already been tested, but that the department wanted to ensure everyone was aware of possibility of infection.


The beauty treatment was made popular by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West who had the facial during an episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" in 2013.

Since then, Kardashian has abandoned the practise, saying that it's too painful but the popularity for the facials continues to rise.

The efficacy of the facial treatment is also a moot point, with some studies suggesting it could work and others suggesting it may be a gimmick.

The health department echoed this, advising those who opt for cosmetic services "involving needle injections" should verify that a licensed medical provider is administering the procedure.


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