An Albuquerque spa has closed after health officials issued an alert warning customers they may have been exposed to HIV or other blood-borne illnesses. VIP Spa was offering clients a “vampire facial” that injected human blood into the customer’s face.
A “vampire facial” involves drawing the customer’s blood, then spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the plasma. The plasma is re-injected into the client’s facial skin using syringes or “micro-needling” pens.
“The plasma is what has all the nutrients, the growth factors, and the protein that helps stimulate new skin, new collagen, and that’s essentially what’s providing all the benefit,” Dr. Ehsan Ali told CNN.
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Similar procedures have been used in sports and veterinary medicine for decades. Providers must complete special training to be licenced to perform the procedure.
While the procedure sounds exotic, it sounds a lot more dangerous than it is. When performed correctly and hygienically, there is little chance of infection or complications.
Workers at the spa, however, were performing the procedure in a way “that could potentially spread blood-borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to clients” according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
One customer has contracted a blood-borne infection after being injected at the spa and health officials are urging anyone who had any type of injection-related services performed there report to their local health department for HIV and hepatitus testing and counseling.
The spa closed after officials issued a cease-and-desist letter to the owners. A representative for the business refused to comment.