New Mexico in United States launches a criminal investigation into 'vampire facials' that left spa clients with HIV

New Mexico's attorney general has issued a health warning against 'vampire facials' after two clients of an Albuquerque spa contracted HIV. 
State Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he is officially launching a criminal investigation into the matter, he announced Thursday.
'Vampire facials' became trendy after Kim Kardashian shared a picture of herself after getting the purportedly anti-aging treatment on Instagram in 2017. 

But the procedure - which involves drawing a person's blood, enhancing it, then re-injecting it into their face - is completely unregulated. 
Balderas begged people to make sure that anywhere they are considering getting a vampire facial to be sure the facility sterilizes its materials and called for state and federal review and regulation of the therapy. 
'I am highly concerned that these procedures are not being regulated at the State and Federal level and am announcing a criminal investigation into this incident,' said Balderas in a Thursday statement. 
Vampire facials are clinically referred to as platelet rich plasma therapies.  
Platelets are a component of the blood that contain growth factors, which are important to the healing of injuries.  
In cosmetic use, the theory is that these platelets also help to repair skin damage from aging. 
A clinician uses a patient's own blood to make the platelet treatment, drawing it with a syringe then using a process called centrifuge to stimulate the blood sample into developing extra platelets. 
The enhanced blood is then re-injected - into the client's face. 
In medical settings, the procedure is nothing new, and used to treat injuries like tennis elbow. 
But it hasn't been thoroughly tested, proven or regulated for anti-aging effects.  
And its been adopted trendy health and wellness spas that perform minor cosmetic procedures. 
VIP Spa, in Albuquerque, was offering the controversial treatment before its September 2018 closure. 
State health department inspectors had found that its practices had the potential to expose clients to 'bloodborne diseases.' 
Although it isn't clear what exactly those practices were, HIV can be transmitted through needle sharing between infected and uninfected people. 
After the discovery that two VIP Spa clients had contracted the disease, the health department began offering free screening to anyone who had been to the spa and received an injection service - including a vampire facial. 
So far, about 130 people have been tested. No additional reports of infection have been made. 
Still, Balderas is warning against the risky procedure, and calling on state and federal officials and the US Food and Drug Administration to rein in and regulate the practice before anyone else contracts a life-threatening illness.  
The Office of the Attorney General included a list of questions consumers should ask clinicians performing RPR and vampire facials to ensure the facility's practices are safe:   

WHAT TO ASK BEFORE YOU GET A VAMPIRE FACIAL 

  1. Whether or not the establishment uses universal precautions - similar to tattoo parlors or a medical facility.
  2. What precautions are utilized?
  3. Who will be performing the procedure?
  4. Will it be performed by a licensed nurse or physician? Cosmetologists and estheticians are not licensed to conduct medical procedures. At minimum, one must be qualified as a phlebotomist to draw blood, and if injections are administered below the subdermis, a nurse or physician must perform the procedure. 
  5. Does the establishment have a medical director? If so, what are their qualifications?
  6. Is it a physician or a nurse practitioner?
This article was originally published on DailyMail.

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