Women seeking 'vampire facial' youth treatment contracted HIV at New Mexico beauty salon

A vampire facial is a cosmetic procedure that uses the patient's own blood to improve facial skin tone and texture. 

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

Four women contracted HIV after receiving a "vampire facial" at a beauty salon and spa in New Mexico, the CDC announced. 

A vampire facial is a cosmetic procedure that uses the patient's own blood to improve facial skin tone and texture. 

The CDC said this is the first known instance of the virus being transmitted through cosmetic injection services, according to its report released on Thursday. 

The agency launched an investigation into VIP Beauty Salon and Spa in Albuquerque after multiple women tested positive for HIV, which was linked back to them receiving vampire facials at the establishment. 

Investigators found unwrapped needles and unlabeled syringes scattered throughout the spa, and it is believed that patients were infected with HIV via the spa sharing needles. 

Three women contracted HIV from the spa in 2018, while a fourth woman became infected with the virus in 2019, which resulted in a man contracting HIV after he had sex with her, according to the report. 

None of the individuals had a history of injectable drug use, recent blood transfusions, or had sex with an HIV-infected partner before the diagnosis. 

Additionally, the CDC determined that up to 59 spa attendees may have been exposed to HIV, with 20 of them receiving vampire facials. 

Maria Ramos de Ruiz, 62, who was the owner of the now-shuttered spa, was sentenced in 2022 to three-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to five felony counts of practicing without a medical license, the Daily Mail reports.

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