Think before you ink says Hepatitis Qld CEO
I WOULD like to applaud journalist Andy Toulson for highlighting the worrying issue of backyard tattoos in her recent article ‘‘ Scarred for Life’’, ( 26/ 02/ 11).
The increasing popularity of tattoos, and the ease with which tattoo guns can be purchased over the internet, means Hepatitis Queensland is hearing of more people who are choosing to get a backyard tattoo.
Blood-borne viruses can be
easily t r ansmitted via unsterile t at t oo needles, or unsafe practices. Consequently, people who choose to get a backyard tattoo are placing themselves at risk.
In Australia, an estimated 217,000 people are living with chronic Hepatitis C. Last year, two per cent of all newly diagnosed cases of Hepatitis C resulted from skin penetration procedures.
People need to remember that just like a tattoo, some blood-borne viruses can be with them for life. It is important that people ‘‘ think before they ink", and use a professional tattooist, at a registered studio.
Anyone who is worried that they may have been exposed to a bloodborne virus through backyard tattooing should contact 1800 648491. CLINT FERNDALE,
CEO, Hepatitis Queensland Inc.