The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has urged clients who received a “Vampire Facial” at the VIP Spa in Albuquerque between May and September last year to undergo tests after two people treated at the facility tested positive for HIV.

The VIP Spa was shut down in September 2018 after authorities discovered unsafe practices that could “potentially spread blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to clients.”

In a statement Monday, the New Mexico Department of Health said the “investigation has not identified potential exposures for HIV transmission other than the injection related procedures at the VIP Spa.”

“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 statement added.

The department is now urging the clients of the spa to come forward for a “free and confidential” HIV and hepatitis testing.

“While over 100 VIP Spa clients have already been tested, NMDOH is reaching out to ensure that testing and counseling services are available for individuals who received injection related services at the VIP Spa. Testing is important for everyone as there are effective treatments for HIV and many hepatitis infections, said Kathy Kunkel, NMDOH cabinet secretary.

Vampire Facial, a procedure made famous by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, involves drawing blood from the client, extracting the platelets, spinning it in a centrifuge and applying it on the face.

This extreme anti-aging treatment reportedly increases the skin’s hydration levels, boosts elastin production and also improves the absorbing power of the skin. It also helps improve the skin texture, effectiveness of skin products and gives a smooth skin and a youthful glow. The procedure may cause discomfort but is not very painful, Style Craze reported.

The procedure comes with side-effects. If the procedure was not followed correctly, it might cause infection, bruises and inflammation. The average cost of the treatment is about $1,500.

In a statement on its official website for vampire facials, the Cellular Medicine Association said Monday, “Qualified medical professionals handle blood all day long without serious problems (in emergency rooms, in operating rooms, and in offices), and this procedure is even safer since it’s done with the patient’s own blood. Done properly, FDA-approved devices are used, and nothing in the room with one patient has on it even the possibility of one drop of blood from any previously treated patient.”

“But done improperly — people can be killed by cross-contamination. The providers in New Mexico under investigation were impostors who were not licensed to use our name ‘Vampire Facial,’ were never licensed to use the name, were never properly trained, and were never on our list of certified provider,” the statement added.

Vampire Facial
In this photo, a doctor injects a patient with Botox at a cosmetic treatment center in Berlin, Jan. 29, 2007. Getty Images/ Andreas Rentz