New HIV case linked to

A new HIV case has been connected to a “vampire facial” at a New Mexico spa, years after the business closed, state health officials said Wednesday. 

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

The spa client tested positive in 2023, but the spa closed in September of 2018 after state inspectors identified practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients. At the time of the initial investigation, two other clients had tested positive for HIV. 

During a vampire facial, a patient’s blood is drawn and then components of the blood are injected back into the face using micro needles. The procedure has been reported to reduce pore size and help with fine lines to rejuvenate the skin.  

The health department is urging former clients who had any type of injection-related service, including a vampire facial or Botox injections at the VIP Spa, to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. More than 100 former clients were tested in 2018 and 2019 as part of the initial investigation, but health officials said former VIP clients should be retested, even if they initially tested negative. 

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

As of Wednesday, the health department said it has identified additional HIV infections with “direct or indirect connection with services provided” at VIP Spa. The department has not said how many people tested positive for HIV and did not specify what qualifies as an indirect connection. CBS News has reached out to the health department for clarification. 

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

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

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