High-risk tattoos – Artists reusing needles on clients

Nederlands: Public Health Image Library http:/...
Nederlands: Public Health Image Library http://phil.cdc.gov/Phil/default.asp PHIL ID# 1573 Title: Herpes simplex lesion of lower lip, second day after onset. Content Provider(s): CDC/Dr. Herrmann Creation Date: (1964) Description: Herpes simplex lesion of lower lip, second day after onset. HSV, cold sore. Source Library: PHIL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SOA-Herpes-genitalis-face1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tattooing in process. Artist: Damien Bart of B...
Tattooing in process. Artist: Damien Bart of Bruce Bart Tattooing. Model: Cary Bass. Photographer: Michael Deschenes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SOA-Herpes-genitalis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Herpes genitalis
Herpes genitalis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lip piercing
Lip piercing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Body art fanatics beware! Unscrupulous tattoo artists are reusing needles on their respective clients, THE STAR has learnt.

A teen, who claimed to be a victim of the misdeed, said she contracted a strain of the herpes virus after receiving a lip piercing.

The teen said shortly after receiving the piercing she noticed that the area became inflamed and sores started to develop. She said after much prodding by friends she visited the doctor who told her she had contracted herpes.

“I am not sexually active. The doctor said that it’s a strain of genital herpes and that the needle was probably used to pierce someone else on their genital,” the teen told THE STAR. “When I went back to the man who pierced me, he told me that it’s normal for that to happen when one does lip piercing.”

THE STAR was directed to a tattoo shop in the Corporate Area, where it is alleged that the artist also practices the reuse of needles.

Inside the shop was very dirty and used needles, which should have been discarded, were out in the open. During our visit, however, we did not see the artist use any of the needles that were out in the open to tattoo his client.

It is also alleged that some artists reuse ink.

Information reaching THE STAR is that the practice of recycling ink and needles is reportedly higher at events such as parties that offer the service for free, due to the rush and larger crowd.

Prominent medical doctor Jephthah Ford said artists reusing needles should face the full brunt of the law as they are putting the public’s health at risk.

“In the same way that food handler’s permit requires exam, the same should be done for these persons. They should undergo short courses in public health, many of them do not know about public health and hygiene and sterilisation,” he said. “They should also do blood tests for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.”Persons going to get tattoos should: ensure the shop is clean; ensure the artist uses a sealed needle; ensure the needles are properly disposed of and ensure that a fresh supply of ink is used.

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