Two clients of a New Mexico spa have tested positive for HIV after opting for the vampire facial, a treatment popularised by Kim Kardashian-West and her perennial quest for perfection.
According to a report from the Albuquerque Journal, the botched blood facials took place at VIP Spa, a facility shut down for unsanitary practices in 2018 by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH).
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The same report urged anyone who had the vampire facial between the months of May and September last year to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections.
The vampire facial involves a technician taking a sample of the clients' blood and extracting platelet-rich plasma from the blood sample. The plasma is then injected into the face.
The plasma is said to contain proteins and nutrients that encourage the production of collagen, which is believed to help correct countless skin concerns - including fine lines, surgical scars and acne pockmarks.
The treatment began trending back in 2013, after Kim Kardashian-West posted a photo of herself receiving the facial on her Instagram. It was another in a string of beauty products - like 'flat tummy teas' and weight-loss supplements - that the Kardashian clan have drawn ire for promoting. The family penchant for paid-for promotions has also received backlash for encouraging unhealthy beauty standards among young fans.
If conducted in a controlled and sterile environment, a vampire facial is safe for the vast majority of clients. The issue itself is with the 'trending' phenomenon, which encourages inexperienced therapists and irresponsible salons to jump on the treatment bandwagon, resulting in a number of botched procedures.
The VIP Spa was immediately closed after inspection. Kathy Kunkel, the NMDOH cabinet secretary, said more testing needs to be done to determine if blood-borne infection cases are solely limited to the two diagnoses.
Last month, 'Momager' Kris Jenner revealed her daughters are paid "six figures" to promote products on their social media platforms as part of brand deals.
Kylie Jenner and Kardashian-West, who have the most Instagram followers, allegedly make as much as US$1 million (NZD$1.4 million) and US$750,000 (NZD$1.1 million) per sponsored post respectively.
Instagram legally requires users to disclose when they have been paid to post a product.