2 cases of HIV confirmed from possible ‘vampire facials’ at NM spa

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE/CNN) - The New Mexico Department of Health is warning anyone who is considering “injection-related” procedures to verify they are being done by a licensed medical provider after two people contracted HIV at a now-closed spa.

With two confirmed cases of HIV linked to the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, NM, clients are being encouraged to get tested for bloodborne infections if they had “injection-related procedures,” like the so-called vampire facial, popularized by Kim Kardashian.

The vampire facial procedure takes samples of a client’s blood, extracts the plasma, then injects the plasma back into the client’s face with needles.

Dr. Tierney Murphy with the Department of Health says the aesthetician running the VIP Spa was using unsafe practices that could spread infections like HIV and hepatitis B and C.

More than 130 former clients of the spa, which was shut down in September, have come forward to get tested.

The state Regulation and Licensing Department submitted a cease and desist order after learning the spa’s owner didn’t have a license.

"That’s way beyond her scope of practice as an aesthetician, so that would not be something that we would even license,” said Kathy Ortiz, deputy director of Boards and Commissions.

Ortiz says they are required to do inspections every 18 months. They had previously inspected the spa owner but at a different location. She was licensed at that time.

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