April 30, 2019 -- Two customers of a spa in Albuquerque, NM, have been infected with HIV after getting injection-based “Vampire Facials” there. The New Mexico Department of Health is offering free HIV and hepatitis B and C screenings to anyone who got shots at the VIP Spa between May and September 2018, before the spa was shut down after a health inspection.
The New Mexico government’s investigation has not found anyone else exposed to HIV from the spa.
The treatment became popular after actress Kim Kardashian had it on camera for her show Kim and Kourtney Take Miami in 2013. It involves drawing the customer’s own blood and running it through a centrifuge to separate out platelet-rich plasma. Then, micro-needles are used to puncture the skin repeatedly, before the plasma is slathered on to soak into all those holes.
According to the creator of the Vampire Facial, Charles Runels, MD, the VIP Spa had never been licensed or trained to perform the procedure, and was never among the company’s certified providers.