Beauty

Vampire Facials May Have Exposed People to HIV

by Katie Skinner

Many of us are are tempted to try out those out-of-the-ordinary beauty fads and treatments with hopes to finally find the magic secret for flawless skin—and as new innovative technologies and formulas surface faster than we can even keep up with, the question of whether they are safe (let alone work) can get lost in the mix. The social media favorite "vampire facial," sampled by stars and influencers alike, including beauty treatment connoisseur Kim Kardashian, is now under investigation after one spa patient in New Mexico was infected with HIV after receiving a treatment.

The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Tuesday that a prior client of the "VIP Spa" located in Albuquerque had developed the infection and health officials believe that it originated from the spa treatment. The department is now urging any previous clients of the New Mexico-based spa to get tested as soon as possible for HIV, hepatitis B and, hepatitis C.

"It is very important that anyone who received a vampire facial or other injection-related service at the VIP Spa in May or June of 2018 come to the Midtown Public Health Office for free and confidential lab testing and counseling," Lynn Gallagher, Cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health, said in a statement.

The bloody treatment essentially involves four major steps: drawing vials of blood from the arm, extracting the protein-rich plasma from the blood cells via centrifuge, applying the plasma evenly across the face and then lastly, utilizing a micro-needling technique to puncture the skin to inject the plasma back into the face with minuscule needles. Why would anyone want to do this? Well, it's supposedly thought to "make you look younger" by stimulating new collagen growth in the face, but there has been no evidence that this procedure actually has any anti-aging benefits.

According to KOAT-TV, the spa owner Luly Ruiz was reportedly not licensed to perform the procedure and has since been issued a cease and desist letter to close the business immediately. Ruiz responded to allegations stating, "I open them [the disposable needles] in front of my clients every time they come. I want everybody to be sure, everybody to be happy, and to know they don't have anything." The establishment is currently shut-down with only a note on the door explaining that the spa is closed due to to a "family emergency" and all appointments will be canceled for the remainder of the week.

Photo via Instagram

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