'Vampire facial' patients have contracted HIV, health officials warn


A warning has been issued about "vampire facials" after two people in the United States were diagnosed with HIV, following the controversial procedure.

The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Monday that laboratory tests indicated that the two clients were infected with the same virus, increasing the likelihood that the infections may have resulted from a procedure at the spa.

VIP Spa in New Mexico was shut-down last September over concerns it was not listened to perform cosmetic procedures.

Their treatments took place at the VIP Spa in Albuquerque between May and September of a year ago.

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

As CBS News reports, the New Mexico Department of Health has recommended that anyone who has gotten the facial at VIP Spa in Albuquerque, NM, get tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C immediately.

Both customers recently contracted the same strain of the HIV virus, though it is not certain that their spa treatments were responsible.

The VIP Spa located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been closed down by health officials after it was determined two clients tested positive for HIV.

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Practitioners claim the process helps rejuvenate and regenerate skin tissue and this helps hide acne, scarring and wrinkling.

"Qualified medical professionals handle blood all day long without serious problems (in emergency rooms, in operating rooms, and in offices), and this procedure is even safer since it's done with the patient's own blood", the statement said.

"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", NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel said in a statement.

The beauty treatment became a trend in 2013 after Kim Kardashian posted a graphic Instagram photo of herself directly after the procedure. First, you need to understand exactly what a vampire facial is.

The efficacy of the facial treatment is also a moot point, with some studies suggesting it could work and others suggesting it may be a gimmick.

The gory-looking procedure is touted as a treatment for fine lines, acne scars, sun damage and pigmentation.

The health department echoed this, advising those who opt for cosmetic services "involving needle injections" should verify that a licensed medical provider is administering the procedure.