Two clients at a New Mexico spa that offered "vampire facials" were diagnosed with HIV after receiving treatments, prompting health officials to urge more former patients of the now-shuttered business to get tested for the virus.
In a Monday statement by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), officials encouraged clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to get free and confidential testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C at testing sites after two cases of HIV infections among the spa's clients came to light. The spa was closed in September 2018 after health officials and representatives of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department and the Barbers and Cosmetologists Board visited the location and discovered concerning practices regarding injectable procedures.
The procedure is touted as being able to rejuvenate the skin by boosting the turnover of skin cells, but its benefits remain disputed.
A spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Health said both clients contracted the same strain of the HIV virus.
Now, all clients who took opted for this beauty treatment at VIP Spa between May and September of previous year are being called in for testing.
Speaking to CNN, California physician Dr Ehsan Ali advised patients who are undergoing the treatment to make sure that the practitioner opens new syringes to draw blood and changes the micro-needling pen before performing the procedure.
In 2017, ABC reported on a woman whose face became repeatedly infected following a "Vampire" facial at a Sydney skin clinic. Medical and cosmetic experts say that while Vampire Facials are absolutely safe when done in a clean and hygienic place and using proper procedure and equipment, VIP Spa may have been flouting many of these safety conditions. The PRP is then injected into the client's face.
Other celebrities including Bar Refaeli and Keri Maguire have also tried the controversial treatment.
In a post on her website, she said: "It was really rough and painful for me".
Kim Kardashian brought the treatment into the public eye, tough she later admitted that she regretted it, as she was unable to take painkillers during the procedure due to her pregnancy. "It's the one treatment that I'll never do again", she wrote.