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HIV Outbreak Linked to Unsanitary New Mexico Spa Procedures

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  • A recent investigation has identified cases of HIV transmission linked to a spa in New Mexico that offered cosmetic services such as Botox injections and “vampire facials” under unsanitary conditions. This marks the first instance of HIV infection being associated with nonsterile cosmetic injection procedures.
  • Three women who underwent these treatments have tested positive for HIV. Further investigation revealed these women had no other risk factors for HIV, suggesting the infections were directly caused by the spa’s procedures.
  • An estimation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that approximately 59 clients could have potentially been exposed to HIV at this spa, which was operating without a license or appropriate safety measures. The owner of the spa was later convicted for operating without a license and sentenced to prison.

A concerning case of HIV infection linked to cosmetic procedures has come to light. Unhygienic conditions at a New Mexico spa, where women underwent Botox injections and “vampire facials”, have resulted in several HIV infections.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “This investigation is the first to associate HIV transmission with nonsterile cosmetic injection services.”

Three women who underwent these procedures have been diagnosed with HIV. With no other risk factors for HIV identified, the treatments are considered the source of infection.

A “vampire facial” is a type of cosmetic procedure where the patient’s own blood is extracted, platelets are separated, and then re-injected into the patient’s skin using microneedles. Its aim is to rejuvenate the skin and reduce acne and wrinkles.

The same CDC report suggests that as many as 59 clients might have been exposed to HIV at this unlicensed and unsafe facility in Albuquerque.

The spa operator, Maria Ramos de Ruiz, pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of practicing without a license in 2022 and is currently serving a three and a half years sentence in Springer Correctional Center.

The spa was shut down by the New Mexico Department of Health in 2018 after unlabeled blood tubes were discovered on a kitchen counter and injectables were found stored beside food in a kitchen refrigerator.

Further investigations revealed two more infections linked to the spa, either directly or indirectly, in addition to the three HIV cases.

Following this alarming development, the Health Department has advised all former clients of the spa to undergo testing for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, regardless of any previous negative results.

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Dr. Laura Parajon, the Deputy Secretary of the Health Department, emphasized the urgency of this situation and urged individuals who received any injection-related services at the spa to avail of free and confidential testing.

The CDC also advises against seeking treatments and cosmetic procedures from unlicensed facilities, stressing the potential health risks.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Temper

    May 4, 2024 at 7:24 am

    Did they all get the vax?

  2. David

    May 4, 2024 at 10:40 am

    Wonder if any of them had the 💉 and it’s not attributed to thr “facials.”

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