Tattoo concerns


tattoo being doneFor many younger holidaymakers, getting a tattoo done while on your gap year is a common occurrence, but after a traveller from Western Australia contracted HIV from a tattoo they got whilst on holiday in Bali, health authorities have been keen to warn against such activities. Tonia Buzzolini, national operations manager for Travelvax Australia, noted: “Getting a cut-price holiday tattoo or body piercing can be temping. But you might be taking home more than you bargained for if the needles or other equipment are reused without being properly sterilised.”
The issue was brought to the fore after Western Australia Health (WA Health) notified Commonwealth authorities that a traveller had tested positive for HIV. Paul Armstrong, director of communicable diseases for WA Health, advised travellers who had recently returned from Bali with a tattoo or piercing to have a blood test. Ms Buzzolini said: “Whenever there is any risk of skin being broken during a procedure, travellers should insist that sterile equipment is used – and make sure it is before going ahead. Not just for tattoos and body piercings, but also the tools used during manicures and pedicures, as well as razors and scissors used in haircuts.” She added: “It also applies if a traveller needs a tetanus shot or sutures in a developing country. That’s the reason we recommend our clients pack a first aid kit containing sterile equipment.”