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HIV Outbreak Tied to Closed New Mexico Salon’s ‘Vampire Facials

July 11, 2023 | By Kali Girl

According to NBC News, New Mexico health officials have discovered new HIV infections connected to a salon known for vampire facials, despite it being closed for almost five years.

The salon, VIP Spa in Albuquerque, was shut down in 2018 after two clients tested positive for HIV. However, in March, another former client tested positive, bringing the total number of identified HIV infections to five “with direct or indirect connection with services provided at the VIP Spa,” a department spokesperson said.

This information was reported by the New Mexico Department of Health.

Health officials have reopened an investigation into a spa following a recent case, urging former clients who received injection-related services to undergo HIV and hepatitis testing.

The salon offered Botox injections and vampire facials, a rejuvenation process that involves drawing blood, extracting platelet-rich plasma, and applying it to the face. The spa’s clients, even those who previously tested negative, are advised to get tested again for their safety.

This precautionary measure aims to protect individuals from potential risks associated with the procedures, such as the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

According to the department spokesperson, it’s not clear how HIV was transmitted, but that “genetic sequencing of HIV cases confirm a unique, highly related cluster of HIV infections among former VIP Spa clients without other known risk factors.”

Spa owner Maria Ramos de Ruiz was found guilty in June 2022 of practicing medicine without a license. The court sentenced her to 3½ years in prison in October 2022.

Currently, she is serving her sentence at the Springer Correctional Center, according to NBC affiliate KOB4 of Albuquerque.

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