Health Officials Are Investigating Two HIV Cases In Connection with Vampire Facials
The state's health department is urging former clients of the spa to get tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C.
If bloody selfies taken mid-vampire facial don't phase you, recent news about potential risks of the treatment might. The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is looking into two cases of HIV that may have resulted from improper administration of the facial at a now-defunct spa in Albuquerque, according to New York Daily News. (Related: Would You Try a Vampire Facial...for Your Vagina?)
Back in September, NMDOH recommended that anyone who'd received a vampire facial or other injection treatment at VIP Spa in Albuquerque in May or June 2018 get tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Earlier that month, the health department had inspected the spa after being notified that a customer had developed an infection "that may have resulted from a procedure performed by the VIP Spa," according to a news update from the department. During the inspection, NMDOH found that the spa's practices could indeed spread infections and sent a cease-and-desist letter to the location. The spa has since been closed.
Now, NMDOH is looking into two cases of HIV in people who'd been treated at VIP Spa, according to a more recent news update from the department. So far, NMDOH hasn't identified other potential ways in which the two people could have been exposed to HIV. Plus, lab tests revealed that both people had the same HIV virus, which ups the odds that they both got it from their treatments at the spa, according to the health department's update. (Related: Everything You Should Know About PRP Injections for Hair Loss)
The vampire facial is as intense as it sounds. A doctor draws your blood and spins it out to extract the platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The PRP is then injected into your face with a syringe or microneedling tool. Potential benefits of the treatment include increased collagen production—an anti-aging perk—but it can be risky. While the procedure itself is relatively safe, if your blood isn't kept sterile between when it's drawn and injected, you can develop an infection, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Reusing or improperly storing needles can also lead to infection.
In its statement, NMDOH again recommended former VIP Spa customers get tested and advised anyone considering any injection treatment to make sure to visit a licensed medical provider.
Bottom line: It's important to do your homework before any beauty treatment, especially an invasive one.