In a follow-up to a post last September, The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports investigating two cases of HIV infection among VIP Spa in Albuquerque clients who received injection related procedures at the spa between May and September 2018.

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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.

This is prompting health officials to strongly encourage clients of the VIP Spa to come in for free and confidential Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hepatitis B and C virus testing.

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.

According to the Vampire Facial Official Site, the procedure goes like this:

The physician draws your blood from your arm. Then, using a centrifuge, the physician isolates platelets from that blood (platelet-rich plasma or PRP).

Then the provider uses a micro-needling device to create multiple micro-punctures –both driving the isolated growth factors into the skin & creating stimulus for tightening and rejuvenation of the collagen of the face.

Finally, the provider paints the growth factors onto the micro-punctures so that the growth factors soak into the tissue for further stimulation of tightening and skin rejuvenation.

Two sites are offering the free testing services – the South Valley Health Commons located at 2001 El Centro Familiar SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105 on Tuesdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed from 12-1:00 pm); and Casa de Salud Family Medical Office located at 1608 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105 on Thursdays from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.