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

 

A former Albuquerque beauty salon owner who was investigated after two former 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 who later contracted HIV.

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 performing vampire facials, Ramos de Ruiz performed plasma and Botox injections, which are limited to the practice of licensed physicians, 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.

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