ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE NEWS
Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the indictment of Maria de Lourdes Ramos de Ruiz, former owner of VIP Salon, on 24 felony charges, including: practicing medicine without a license, racketeering, fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. In 2019, it was revealed that at least two of the salon’s clients contracted HIV and had received so-called “Vampire Facials,” a medical procedure involving Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. This resulted in the Office of the Attorney General’s investigation of the business and its owner, whose indictment was filed Monday.
“Individuals who jeopardize the health and safety of New Mexican families must be held accountable,” said Attorney General Balderas. “We look forward to presenting this case at trial.”
Apart from the case, Attorney General Balderas has advised that anyone who has received a “Vampire Facial” or PRP therapy and believes that they may have been exposed to a communicable disease or received treatment from an unlicensed practitioner should contact his office for information on resources available. The Attorney General recommends that anyone who is planning to undergo PRP therapy make sure that they are receiving the procedure from a properly licensed medical professional and that the establishment is using universal precautions to sterilize equipment and prevent the spread of blood-bourne pathogens.
Consumers should ask questions of providers of PRP therapy or “Vampire Facials” prior to undergoing the procedure. Consumers have the right to know:
- Whether or not the establishment uses universal precautions – similar to tattoo parlors or a medical facility.
- What precautions are utilized?
- Who will be performing the procedure?
- Will it be performed by a licensed medical professional? Cosmetologists and estheticians are not licensed to conduct medical procedures. At a 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.
- Does the establishment have a medical director? If so, what are their qualifications? Is it a physician or a nurse practitioner?
If you believe that you may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as HIV, you can visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmhealth.org/about/phd/idb/std/ to find a Public Health Office near you that provides screening and treatments services such as:
- Free, confidential examination and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
- Confidential counseling and treatment of contacts (partners) to persons with STDs.
- Free, anonymous testing and counseling for HIV.
If you have received or attempted to receive a “vampire facial”, and you think that the individual was not properly licensed or that the procedure was not done properly, you may file a complaint with the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General online at https://www.nmag.gov/.
This case was investigated by and will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General. The public is reminded that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.