The New Mexico Department of Health is currently investigating a New Mexico spa after two clients diagnosed with HIV after receiving a vampire facial. A vampire facial is a treatment that typically involves having your own blood drawn and then placed in a machine that extracts the platelets. That is then injected in the face using tiny needles or applied like a mask. Kim Kardashian famously publicized the procedure back in 2013 when she had it done.
The New Mexico Department of Health announced that investigation has shown that both clients were infected with the same strain of the virus leading them to assume that both had contracted it through the facial, CNN reports. Because of this development, any clients of the now-closed spa who received any treatments involving injections between the months of May and September of last year can receive free and confidential testing for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
In a written statement, Kathy Kunkel, the New Mexico Department of Health's cabinet secretary, revealed that many clients of the spa have already reached out."While over 100 VIP Spa clients have already been tested, NMDOH is reaching out to ensure that testing and counseling services are available for individuals who received injection-related services at the VIP Spa. Testing is important for everyone as there are effective treatments for HIV and many hepatitis infections."
The statement also noted that the VIP Spa was closed in September of last year after an inspection "identified practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients."
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Dr. Ehsan Ali, a board-certified internal medicine physician told CNN that treatments such as the vampire facial are typically safe if conducted using safe and proper methods. He says that infection can occur if needles are being re-used or someone else's blood is used for the facial.
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His advice to people looking to have procedures like this done is to ensure they are going to a reputable and licensed spa and to pay attention to ensure all safety procedures are being followed. "Just make sure you're seeing everything being done in front you," he said. "Make sure that the place is using new equipment, changing the tips and needles."
The New Mexico Department of Health echoed that sentiment in their statement, writing, "Any persons desiring cosmetic services involving needle injections should verify the services are being provided by a licensed medical provider."