What Are The Risks Of Getting Hiv From A Tattoo
There are no known cases of anyone getting HIV from having a tattoo, however, that doesnt mean that the risk is not there.
It is possible to get HIV this way through an unsterilized needle or from contaminated ink that has been shared.
The best way to reduce the risk is to make sure that the tattoo studio and the tattoo artist that you use are licensed and that they are hygienic in their procedures.
What Do We Know About Touching
Theres extremely low to no risk for getting or transmitting HIV from touching. The only possible risk would be if body fluids from a partner with HIV touch the mucous membranes or damaged tissue of someone whos HIV-negative. Mucous membranes can be found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth. Damaged tissue could include a cut, sore, or open wound.
Theres a chance of getting or transmitting other sexually transmitted diseases through touching because some STDs can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
You could also get or transmit other kinds of infections, like hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus parasites like Giardia and bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, or E. coli if you touch someones anus because you may get feces on your hands or fingers.
‘i Was Refused A Tattoo Because I Am Hiv Positive’
Deejay Bullock says he was “absolutely devastated” to be refused a tattoo because he is HIV positive.
The 38-year-old, who was diagnosed a decade ago, said he was shocked to be turned away because there had been no problems with his previous tattoos.
HIV groups say Deejay should not have been refused and are publishing new guidelines aimed at stopping people with HIV being discriminated against.
They say refusing an HIV positive person is illegal under equality laws.
Tattooists should not even ask clients about their HIV status, the organisations said.
Deejay, who lives in Aberdeen, has been living with HIV since 2006 but was not diagnosed until 2009.
He told BBC Scotland he struggled with his status at first and his mental health declined rapidly.
For his first two tattoos, which he had soon after his diagnosis, he did not disclose his HIV for fear of being rejected.
Since 2012, Deejay has worked in LGBT health, which he said had boosted his confidence and helped him to come to terms with his status.
More recently, he has had two tattoos in Aberdeen at which he declared on the form that he was HIV positive.
“It was absolutely fine. There were no questions,” he said. “It was never even discussed.”
In July this year, Deejay decided to get a tattoo for his birthday.
He found a tattooist in Dundee who could fit him in and went along and filled out a form.
“I handed it back to him and he looked and said ‘are you joking?’.”
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Can I Become Infected With Hiv If I Inject Drugs And Share The Needles With Someone Else Without Sterilizing The Needles
We strongly recommend that you use new equipment every time you inject. You can get new equipment from Counterpoint Needle & Syringe Program at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.
There is a possibility of becoming infected with HIV if you share injecting equipment with someone who has the virus. If HIV infected blood remains inside the needle or in the syringe and someone else then uses it to inject themselves, that blood can be flushed into the bloodstream. Sharing needles, syringes, spoons, filters or water can pass on the virus. Disinfecting equipment between uses can reduce the likelihood of transmission, but does not eliminate it.
Hepatitis C And Tattooing: Can You Get Hepatitis From Tattoos
Whether if it is for symbolic sentimentalities, self-expression, artistic freedom, or a visual display of a personal narrative, tattoos have always remained popular for a multitude of reasons. As the art form continues to move from the fringes into the mainstream, many have begun to wonder whether it poses any risk of infection from blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis C.
Continue reading further to learn about the possible health risks associated with infected tattoos.
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How To Identify An Infected Tattoo
In some cases, your skin may just be irritated because of the needle, especially if you have sensitive skin. If this is the case, your symptoms should fade after a few days.
But if these symptoms continue for a week or more, see your tattoo artist or doctor.
See your doctor if you experience one or more of the following:
How To Protect Yourself
Reusing dirty needles is an obvious safety violation, but it’s not good enough to just find out if the artist uses clean needles. When you’re dealing with injections and blood, you have to be aware of other potential hazards. For example:
- Is the tattoo parlor licensed? Choose a tattoo parlor and artist that are licensed and certified according to the regulations of the state it operates in.
- Does the artist wash his or her hands? Though artists usually wear gloves , they must also wash their hands before putting gloves on and after taking them off. Make sure they only put on a fresh, new pair.
- Is the equipment sterilized? Sterilized is different from being clean. By wiping over something with a towel, the instrument will look clean, but it could still be infectious. Sterilization involves applying chemicals or heat, killing bacteria and viruses.
- Are work surfaces clean? Make sure the work area is cleaned and sterilized. You don’t want your clean tattoo needle to be exposed to germs from the table surface or other equipment.
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What Happens If You Dont Care For An Infected Tattoo
If anything strikes you as odd or particularly painful, head to the doctor. Its important to act as soon as you think something is wrong. If you dont care for an infected tattoo, you can risk an undesirable aesthetic appearance of the tattooed area or a disseminated soft tissue infection, says Devgan. Tattoos are controlled injuries to the skin, so they represent a break in the skin that must be treated like an open wound, with great care taken to keep it clean.
Life-threatening conditions are quite rare, but things can still escalate if you ignore treating your infected tattoo. As Tonkovic-Capin explains, If you dont care for the infected tattoo, it sometimes may heal on its own, or it may progress with fever, chills, malaise to becoming critically ill, resulting in sepsis that may lead to death.
What We Know About Injecting Drugs
The risk for getting or transmitting HIV is very high if an HIV-negative person uses needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment after someone with HIV has used them. This is because the needles, syringes, or other injection equipment may have blood in them, and blood can carry HIV. Likewise, youre at risk for getting or transmitting hepatitis B and C if you share needles, syringes, or other injection equipment because these infections are also transmitted through blood.
In 2017, 6% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States were attributed to injection drug use and 3% were attributed to injection drug use and male-to-male sexual contact . On average, an HIV-negative person has about a 1 in 160 chance of getting HIV every time they share needles, syringes, or other injection equipment with a person who has HIV.
More Information There may be extremely tiny amounts of blood in syringes or works that you may not be able to see, but could still carry HIV. Be aware that HIV can survive in a used syringe for up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.
There are medicines to treat hepatitis B. If youve never had hepatitis B, theres a vaccine to prevent it. There are medicines to treat hepatitis C, but they arent right for everyone. Theres no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about hepatitis B and C.
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How Can I Prevent Passing Hiv To My Unborn Baby
Today, new medicines mean you can lower your chance of passing HIV to your unborn baby during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth to less than 1%.2 Taking medicine to treat HIV is recommended for everyone who is HIV-positive to lower their viral load and help protect their immune system. Having a viral load that cannot be detected can keep you healthy and also prevent you from passing the virus to your unborn baby. Because HIV can spread in breastmilk, in the United States, you should not breastfeed if you have HIV, even if your viral load cannot be detected.
Learn more about how to prevent passing HIV to your baby.
The Odds Are Less Though
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the risk of HIV through tattooing or body piercing is considered low to negligible
A Person Can Get HIV from a Tattoo or Body Piercing :
- A person who is being tattooed or pierced has a high HIV viral load .
- The person bleeds heavily on the equipment.
- The equipment between customers is not being disinfected.
- Blood from the infected equipment then reaches the body of the next customer in large amounts for the infection to occur.
Within the sense of body art, certain requirements are likely to be met as extremely slim. There is nowhere near as large a potential for infection as, say, injecting drug use in which the HIV-infected blood is injected directly into a vein. Despite this, there are those who remain sincerely interested, including tattoo artists. A 27-year-old man who was denied service by a Utah tattoo parlor because he was HIV-positive, filed a lawsuit against the tattoo parlor in 2017, as reported in Insurance Journal. Although the decision was reasonable it does not mean that the risk outside of a licensed parlor is insignificant. In reality, the risk of problems with unlicensed or informal artists increases. Can include gang tattoos, jail tattoos, or piercing between friends. Acute symptoms of hepatitis may develop within 2 weeks to 6 months. Infection with chronic hepatitis C can last for years and cause significant liver damage.
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How Do You Get It
How To Keep Yourself Safe
The tattoo studio and tattoo artist are responsible for your wellbeing while they are doing the tattoo. However, its ultimately your responsibility to make sure that you are not at risk of catching any kind of infection.
You should do your research and check out reviews or speak to friends that have used the tattoo studio. This will help you to understand the way that they work and just how safe they are.
Make sure that you have a proper consultation in the surroundings where the tattoo will be performed so you can see firsthand how they work and what equipment they use.
Dont ever be afraid of asking your tattoo artist questions to make sure that you understand exactly how the procedure will work and the safety precautions in place. You can also ask to see their license to make sure that its up to date.
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Can I Get Hiv From Getting A Tattoo Or Body Piercing
There are no known cases in the United States of anyone getting HIV this way. However, it is possible to get HIV from a reused or not properly sterilized tattoo or piercing needle or other equipment, or from contaminated ink. Its possible to get HIV from tattooing or body piercing if the equipment used for these procedures has someone elses blood in it or if the ink is shared. The risk of getting HIV this way is very low, but the risk increases when the person doing the procedure is unlicensed, because of the potential for unsanitary practices such as sharing needles or ink. If you get a tattoo or a body piercing, be sure that the person doing the procedure is properly licensed and that they use only new or sterilized needles, ink and other supplies.
Why Transmission Is Unlikely
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the risk of HIV through tattooing or body piercing is considered low to negligible.
While the CDC accedes that there is a theoretical risk of transmission, there has yet to be a single documented case of HIV by any form of body art.
This is largely due to the fact that transmission could only occur if:
Within the context of body art, the likelihood of these conditions being satisfied as incredibly slim. The opportunity for infection is nowhere near as strong as, say, injecting drug use in which HIV-infected blood is delivered directly into a vein.
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Myth: You Can Get Hiv Or An Std From Getting A Tattoo Or Through Body Piercing
website builder Fact: This is true. There can be a risk for HIV or other blood-borne infection, like hepatitis B or C if the instruments used for piercing or tattooing are not sterilized or disinfected between clients. Any instrument used to pierce or cut the skin should be used once and thrown away. Ask the staff at the parlor about their equipment and what precautions they use. They should be willing to do this.otherwise, dont get pierced or tattooed there.
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How To Check If A Tattoo Studio Is Hygienic
When you are getting your first tattoo there are lots of questions that you should ask. You should always question the professionalism, licensing and hygiene standards of the tattoo studio and the tattoo artists working there.
Tattoo studios should always use disposable equipment when dealing with tattoos and blood. This equipment that should be thrown away after one use would be needles, razors, gloves and ointment.
All chairs, armrests, beds and wires should be covered and sterilized after every use to make sure that they are clean for the next customer. Disinfectant should be available at every station in the tattoo studio.
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How Do You Care For Your Skin After Getting A Tattoo
The healing process for a tattoo can last between two to four weeks. After-care instructions vary among tattoo artists, but they all generally agree with following these strategies. After your appointment, your tattoo will be covered with a bandage or plastic wrapping, which can be removed after about six hours. Wash your tattoo three times per day with unscented antibacterial soap, pat dry with a paper towel, and cover with a thin layer of ointment.
After getting a tattoo, take care to keep the area clean and moist. An occlusive dressing is often applied to protect the skin while the pigment injection sites heal, says Lara Devgan, MD, a top board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City. Avoid strenuous activities, profuse sweating, and contact with contaminated environmental exposures such as sand, oceans, and debris.
Some peeling in the early stages of the healing process is normal, but “never try to pick off the crusting that will typically show up on the surface, says Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, MD, a double board-certified Dermatologist based in the Kansas City metro area and editor of DermBoard.org. Until your tattoo is fully healed, you should also avoid taking baths , swimming, tanning, scratching the tattoo, and touching the tattoo without washing your hands.
What Hepatitis Can You Get From Tattoos
As tattoo needles puncture the skin and cause bleeding, Hepatitis is amongst the likeliest viral infections to be transmitted. You should be alarmed if the tools arent properly sterilized and the overall establishment has poor infection control standards. The most common way Hepatitis C spreads is through the shared use of contaminated needles and equipment used for drugs. Sharing personal items that may come into contact with blood such as a razor or even a toothbrush can also spread HCV.
Approximately 2.7 3.9 million Americans are currently living with a chronic form of this infection. For those who arent familiar with the effects of the Hepatitis C virus , it causes a chronic liver infection which can lead to liver damage, liver cancer, and even liver failure.
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