Popular 'Vampire Facial' Linked To Two Confirmed HIV Cases
Two people who received facial injections from the same spa in the U.S. have been infected with HIV, according to health officials.
The non-surgical procedure, which is available across the world -- including Australia, involves injecting the client's own blood into their face using microneedles.
The New Mexico Department of Health on Monday said that two clients of VIP Spa in Albuquerque who received "vampire facials" last year were recently diagnosed with the same HIV strain.
Officials said the two people used the spa between May and September, 2018.
"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," the agency said in a statement.
VIP Spa shut last September after state agencies found issues with how needles were handled and disposed of.
An official told KRQE-TV the owner of VIP Spa lacked the proper licensing. The station found the building that once housed the business now appears completely empty.
The New Mexico Department of Health began offering free HIV and hepatitis B and C testing shortly after VIP Spa shut, as well as counselling.
More than 100 people have already been tested, according to the agency.
Vampire facials gained popularity after Kim Kardashian West posted an Instagram photo of herself after undergoing the facial in 2013 at a different spa facility. She has since come out against the procedure.
"It was really rough and painful for me. It was honestly the most painful thing ever! It's the one treatment that I'll never do again," Kardashian West wrote on her website in 2014, according to Allure.
Featured image: Instagram