2 spa clients contract HIV after facial

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, particles in purple, cause the disease AIDS. (CDC/ Dr. A. Harrison; Dr. P. Feorino)

The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating two cases of HIV infection among clients to a spa in Alburquerque who received injection-related procedures.

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.

The clients were infected with the virus following 'vampire facials' between May and September 2018.

A 'vampire facial' involves injecting a client's own blood into the face to replenish the skin.

The beauty treatment was made popular by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West who had the facial during an episode of 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' in 2013.

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

“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.”

Anyone receiving beauty treatments involving needle injections should verify the services are being provided by a licensed medical provider.