NM Department of Health Offers Free Testing for Persons Who Received Any Injections, including Vampire Facials, at the VIP Spa in Albuquerque
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is encouraging clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque to come in for free and confidential Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hepatitis B and C virus testing. NMDOH is investigating two cases of HIV infection among VIP Spa clients who received injection related procedures at the VIP Spa between May and September 2018. The NMDOH investigation has not identified potential exposures for HIV transmission other than the injection related procedures at the VIP Spa. Additional laboratory testing on specimens from the two clients indicates recent infection with the same HIV virus- increasing the likelihood that the two HIV infections may have resulted from a procedure at the VIP spa.
The spa performed ‘vampire facials’, a procedure where the customer’s own blood is injected into their face to replenish skin.
The VIP Spa closed on September 7, 2018 after an inspection by the NMDOH and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Barbers and Cosmetologists Board identified practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients.
“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,” said Kathy Kunkel, NMDOH Cabinet Secretary. “Testing is important for everyone as there are effective treatments for HIV and many hepatitis infections.”
Any persons desiring cosmetic services involving needle injections should verify the services are being provided by a licensed medical provider.