New HIV Cases Linked to Disturbing Spa Treatment

Some ideas don’t need much explanation for it to be apparent why they’re bad.

Eating NyQuil chicken, providing flying electric cars to civilians and bringing cocaine into the White House are all objectively questionable — if not outright terrible — ideas.

Rubbing blood all over your face to smooth out that pesky crow’s foot?

That feels like it should enter in the Hall of Fame of Bad Ideas, and there is mounting evidence that “vampire facials” could be a first-ballot entrant.

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Department of Health had to put out a news release recommending that certain clients of the now-shuttered VIP Beauty Salon and Spa in Albuquerque get tested for blood-borne infections.

The department recommended that “anyone who received any type of injection-related service, including a vampire facial or Botox injections at the VIP Spa, come to the South Valley Public Health office in Albuquerque for free and confidential HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C lab testing and counseling.”

Disconcertingly, the release added: “Former VIP Spa clients should be retested even if they previously had a negative test.”

“It’s very important that we spread the word and remind people who received any kind of injection-related to services provided at the VIP Spa to come in for free and confidential testing,” Dr. Laura Parajon, New Mexico’s deputy secretary of health, said in a statement.

According to the news release, the VIP Spa was closed in September 2018.

That closure followed an investigation by the state Department of Health and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Barbers and Cosmetologists Board.

That investigative entity “identified practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients. More than 100 former clients were tested in 2018 and 2019 as part of the initial investigation,” the news release said.

“Since then, the owner of the spa pleaded guilty last June 2022 to five felony counts of practicing medicine without a license,” the release said.

According to KRQE-TV, Maria Ramos De Ruiz was sentenced to three and a half years in prison last year.

But if the salon was closed nearly five years ago, why the newfound consternation?

Those unlicensed ventures were thrust back into the spotlight when the state Health Department identified a 2023 case of HIV “associated with the VIP Spa,” the release said.

That newest HIV case prompted the call to action for potentially infected individuals.

Alarmingly, the department warned even those with an “indirect connection” to VIP Spa services to get tested, saying it has “identified additional HIV infections with direct or indirect connection with services provided” by the spa.

A vampire facial clearly derives its name from the fictitious, nocturnal blood-suckers made so famous by the Bram Stokers of the world — and the process is horrifying in its own right.

According to NBC News, it involves drawing blood from a certain part of the body (the arm being the most common).

That blood is then separated from the “platelet-rich plasma” that exists within it.

After one’s face is pricked with “microneedles,” the plasma is applied to it.

The purported benefits don’t sound all that different from a standard Botox injection — vampire injections aim to make one look younger.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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