‘Vampire facial’: 2 infected with HIV after New Mexico spa …

Two people were infected with HIV likely when they got “vampire facials” at a now closed New Mexico spa, and the state health department is now offering free testing for its former clients.

TheNew Mexico Department of Health said it was investigating two cases of HIV infection among clients of theVIP Spa, which closed in September after officials found that it could potentially be spreading blood-borne diseases, like HIV or hepatitis.

The health department saidthis week that it has not yet found any potential exposures for the two people with HIV other than their injection-related procedures at VIP Spa.

“Additional laboratory testing on specimens from the two clients indicates recent infection with the same HIV virus increasing the likelihood that the two HIV infections may have resulted from a procedure at the VIP spa,” state health officials said in a statement.

‘Vampire facial’: Spa in New Mexico may have exposed clients to HIV, hepatitis

A “vampire facial” is a treatment where a person’s blood is isolated to obtain platelet-rich plasma, then injected into that person’s skin using a microneedling process.

The “facial” gained popularity after celebrities like Kim Kardashian shared their experiences with the trendy treatment. However, Kardashian has since said she regretted getting it because of the pain, according to allure.com.

The two people who were infected with HIV received treatments with injections at the spa betweenMay and September 2018, the health department said.

In September, spa owner Luly Ruiz told Albuquerque’s KOAT-TV that she only used disposable needles. “I open them in front of my clients every time they come,” Ruiz said at the time.

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State health officials are now offering free testing for HIV and hepatitis B and C forany former clients of 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,”Kathy Kunkel, the health departments’ cabinet secretary, said in a statement. “Testing is important for everyone as there are effective treatments for HIV and many hepatitis infections.”

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Contributing: Brett Molina.

Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller.

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