Think be­fore you ink says Hepati­tis Qld CEO

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

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.

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