2 spa clients contract HIV after facial

The exterior of the now shuttered VIP Space in Albuquerque. IMAGE COURTESY KOAT

The exterior of the now shuttered VIP Space in Albuquerque. IMAGE COURTESY KOAT

The VIP Spa was closed after health officials determined that treatments offered there could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients.

Two people who received injection-related facials at a USA spa have now been infected with the same strain of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to New Mexico health officials.

Kathy Ortiz, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department's deputy director of boards and commissions, said the spa's owner didn't have a licence and they ordered a cease and desist order on the business.

More than 130 former patients of VIP Spa in Albuquerque have been tested after New Mexico health officials confirmed a second client contracted HIV after receiving "injected-related" procedures at the facility, KRQE reported.

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During a "vampire facial", a small amount of a customer's blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge to extract the patient's plasma, which contains platelets and growth factors that stimulate cell production.

The news of the HIV infections has sparked fears other spa users may have been exposed to the disease, The Sun reports. The procedure gained popularity after celebrities such as Kim Kardashian underwent the facial treatment.

The agency says more than 100 people have already been tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C. Testing is free and confidential.

The NMDH is offering free HIV and hepatitis testing to anyone who may visited the spa.

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The VIP Spa closed in September past year after an inspection by the New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Barbers and Cosmetologists Board found unsafe practices that could have spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, to clients.

Ali advised patients interested in vampire facials make sure they see practitioners opening new syringes to draw blood, as well as changing the micro-needling pen before performing the procedure.

The spa's owner previously told KOAT Action News that she is cooperating with health officials and that she only uses disposable needles.

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