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Clients urged to get tested for HIV after spa gives unsafe "vampire facials"

An inspection conducted on Friday, September 7 revealed the facility was treating patients in a way "that could potentially spread blood-borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to clients."
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Anyone who has had a plasma-rich protein facial, aka "vampire facial," at a spa in Albuquerque is urged to get tested for blood-borne infections including HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

The spa was recently cited for unsafe practices according to New Mexico Department of Health as reported by Fox 5. They did not dispose of needles or blood appropriately. Anyone treated in May or June of 2018 may be at risk

This past Tuesday a client at VIP Spa, located at 809 Tijeras NW, was diagnosed with an infection that may have originated at the health club.

 “It is very important that anyone who received a vampire facial or other injection-related service at the VIP Spa in May or June of 2018 come to the Midtown Public Health Office for free and confidential lab testing and counseling,” Lynn Gallagher, Cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health, said in the announcement.

An inspection conducted on Friday, September 7 revealed the facility was treating patients in a way "that could potentially spread blood-borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to clients."

VIP Spa was closed immediately after being issued a cease and desist letter, the owners have declined to comment. 

“This never ever should have happened in the first place,” said Dr. Kenneth Mark, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in New York and clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Health, who was not involved in the New Mexico case.

“As long as proper protocols are followed and there is no sharing of equipment for patients,” he said, “then it should not be an issue.”

Other findings in the reports are:

A basket on a kitchen counter contained a bag of candy along with collection tubes containing blood.

Foot tubs “did not appear to be clean or properly sanitized.”

Nail files and buffers “appeared to be worn and/or used. They should have been disposed of after being used on a client.”