A now-defunct salon in New Mexico which gave so-called "vampire facials" to clients is now allegedly linked to several new HIV cases.
The New Mexico Department of Health is reaching out to former clients of VIP Beauty Salon and Spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who received "any type of injection-related service, including a vampire facial or Botox injections," stating that there's a risk of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C infection to clients who have received the injection-based service.
A "vampire facial," according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, is a procedure where blood is drawn from the arm, placed into a machine which "separates the platelets from the rest of your blood," then is "Re-injected into you (only the part of your blood that contains a high concentration of platelets)."
The procedure is also known as "platelet-rich plasma."
According to the department, its infectious disease bureau received a report in 2023 regarding a "newly diagnosed case of HIV whose only self-reported HIV risk exposure was a vampire facial received at VIP Spa in Albuquerque, N.M. in 2018. "
The health department then re-opened an investigation into the spa, and identified "additional HIV infections with direct or indirect connection with services provided at the VIP Spa."
The spa closed on September 7, 2018, after a multi-state agency "identified practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients."
In June 2022, the spa's owner, Maria Ramos De Ruiz, pleaded guilty to five felony counts of practicing medicine without a license, according to KRQE.
Dr. Laura Parajon, deputy secretary for the state department of health, said in a Wednesday press release that people who received the injection-based service should be tested.
"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," Parajon said.