ALERT: Unlicensed Spa Shut Down After Causing HIV Infections 

Unlicensed Spa Shut Down After Causing HIV Infections. Credit | Shutterstock
Unlicensed Spa Shut Down After Causing HIV Infections. Credit | Shutterstock

United States: According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report on Thursday, a now dysfunctional New Mexico spa, which was put under investigation for potentially exposing the customers to HIV while performing “vampire facials,” has been associated with a minimum of three such cases. 

Advice from the state health department 

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) issues an advise to former clients of IP Beauty Salon and Spa (VIP Spa), in July last year. The spa was located in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the department conducted a thorough examination following the news of the first case of HIV was reported, as USA Today reported. 

As per the DOH reports, at the time of incidence, customers who received “injection-related service,” which included a vampire facial or Botox injections, might also have been exposed to blood-borne illness

However, the salon was closed down on September 7, 2018, after the investigation by the state, which showed problems such as blood-borne infections and others such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C that might have been spread as a result of the practices at the salon. 

Unlicensed Spa Shut Down After Causing HIV Infections. Credit | Istock
Unlicensed Spa Shut Down After Causing HIV Infections. Credit | Istock

In 2019, when the procedures were first tested, it could be confirmed that the two HIV cases the spa was performing were connected to the procedures provided. 

About “vampire facial” cases 

The City’s Department of Health’s Environmental Safety Infectious Diseases Bureau received a report in 2023 report about one patient being associated with the sharing of injection material the business provided. 

However, this case, in particular, is believed to be a result of such a procedure, which was a blend of two processes called “vampire facials” and “PRP facials.” Such procedures required microneedling and topical application of plasma from the customer’s own blood. 

After the disclosure of this, the DOH commenced free testing, making many testing sites available. In 2023, CDC is reported to have diagnosed five individuals with HIV, including four women who attended the salon for health care and one man, who was the intimate partner of the first patient, the CDC source disclosed. 

All four ladies have been receiving PRP microneedling at least once time before in the spa. Two of the patients had severe cases of infection, which means they had already been affected by the bacteria before they came to the spa and before receiving the treatment. 

The other three patients did not have any kind of HIV risk factors except a common one; none of them knew about contact with each other socially, and among those patients was neither identified nor the transmission of this disease between them confirmed, according to the CDC. 

What have the health experts concluded? 

Therefore, the agency concluded, “Evidence suggests that contamination from an undetermined source at the spa during spring and summer 2018 resulted in HIV-1 transmission to these three patients,” as USA Today reported. 

Overall, the investigating team has revealed that 59 clients were put at risk of contracting out of the total 198 spa clients who were tested, including their sexual partners, from 2018 to 2023.