Former salon owner gets prison sentence - Albuquerque Journal

Former salon owner gets prison sentence

An entrance to the now-closed VIP Spa in Albuquerque. (Source: KOAT-TV)

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A former Albuquerque beauty salon owner targeted by a state investigation after two clients were diagnosed with HIV in 2018 and 2019 was sentenced Wednesday to 3½ years in prison.

Maria de Lordes Ramos de Ruiz, 61, pleaded guilty in June to five felony counts of practicing medicine without a license. She was indicted in April 2021 for performing “vampire facials” and other unlicensed medical procedures on clients, including the two people who later contracted HIV.

Second Judicial District Judge Lucy Solimon also sentenced Ramos de Ruiz to four years probation and 800 hours of community service.

The procedure called “vampire facials” is known in medical practice as platelet-rich plasma injections. It involves injecting a concentrated form of the client’s own blood into the skin.

In addition to vampire facials, Ramos de Ruiz performed illegal plasma and Botox injections, according to a statement from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, which prosecuted the case.

“We will remain committed to the victims in this tragedy and will continue to fight for the necessary reforms and regulations that are crucial to protect New Mexican citizens,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said in the statement.

The New Mexico Department of Health learned in August 2018 that a person with no apparent risk factors for HIV had contracted the blood-borne illness after getting a “vampire facial” at the VIP Beauty Salon and Spa in the 800 block of Tijeras NW in Downtown Albuquerque.

In February 2019, the agency identified a second client of the spa infected with the same strain of HIV.

State Department of Health officials who inspected the now-shuttered VIP Beauty Salon and Spa in 2018 said they found unwrapped needles and unlabeled tubes of blood in the business. They also found fake certificates for Botox and “vampire facial” training hanging on the walls.

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