Officials are studying two HIV cases, among customers of a spa in Albuquerque who underwent procedures involving injections as part of a ‘vampire facial.’ The state’s Health Department announced Monday that lab tests showed two clients seem to have been infected with a virus of the same kind, almost confirming that both were results of spa procedure.
From May to September 2018, any clients who underwent procedures with injections in VIP Spa at Albuquerque can freely avail the New Mexico Department of Health’s (NMDOH) confidential tests for Hepatitis B & C, as well as HIV.
An inspection by the NMDOH in September 2018, along with Board for Cosmetologists and Barbers, observed unsafe practices which could spread blood-borne diseases, such as HIV, and ordered its closure. Neither their lawyer nor the spa’s representative was available to comment on the issue then.
Vampire facial, with claims of being a plasma-rich protein facial, is one that entails skin injections of nutrient-rich plasma, on the face with micro-needle like pen. Typically, the plasma is drawn from the client’s blood itself. Experts say if done safely, clients will not be exposed to any blood-related infections and will end with a rejuvenated face and younger-looking skin.
Nonetheless, if any of the micro-needles or other equipment are not properly sterilized or disposed between the facials of two clients, the risk of potential exposure exists, as seen in these cases in New Mexico. Infections were likely to occur if, for instance, the tips of the micro-needles or syringes were used more than once, or if one patient’s blood plasma was used for another patient’s facial.
All patients who intend to undergo a vampire facial are advised by healthcare experts to ensure they actually see the spa consultant opening new packets of syringes, tips or needles, and replacing the micro-needle before the procedure is performed. The NMDOH added a note to everyone who wished to take undergo cosmetic changes to verify licenses of their service-provider before choosing them.