Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Bad Press

August 17th, 2010 by

Tattoo has long been the whipping boy when it comes to talk of its ability to spread blood borne illnesses.  And while it’s true that you can catch a disease if your tattoo artist is an irresponsible moron who doesn’t sterilize his equipment, I don’t think it’s quite accurate to report to the public that hepatitis C is more than a little popular amongst the tattooed.  That’s what this article/report seems to do, anyway.

Okay, fine.  There are bad tattoo artists out there and yeah, if you go to them for a tattoo, well then you very well could be at risk for something.  But any reputable tattoo artist is sterilizing his/her equipment.  You know why?  Because they’re fucking professionals.  That’s why.

And as far as I’m concerned, the biggest risk isn’t whether or not the tattooist’s equipment is sterilized, the number one biggest risk is committing to one tattoo artist over another.  If you choose poorly here, you could very well end up at place that might not have the best hygienic practices going, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, back to my original complaint…So yeah, some tattoo artists don’t sterilize their gear.  And as a way to combat that, I’ve stated many times before that I am fully in favour of tattoo artists being licensed artists who undergo inspections and are legally qualified to tattoo.  Not to punish the artists, of course, but to aid them.  When artists are licensed by their city to tattoo, the hepatitis rates will drop and the negative image of tattoos spreading hepatitis C will hopefully be on its way out.

Still, I don’t think it’s fair to associate hepatitis C and tattoos in such a broad way as the article did.

“To help quantify the risks, the researchers reviewed and analyzed 124 studies from 30 countries — including Canada, Iran, Italy, Brazil and the United States. Of those, 83 studies were included in the meta-analysis.

Based on these studies, those who had tattoos were 2.74 times as likely to have hepatitis than those who had no tattoos.

However, among certain groups the risk could go much higher, they found. For example, non-injection drug users with tattoos were 5.74 times as likely to have hepatitis than their non-tattooed counterparts.

So people with tattoos are 2.74 times more likely to have hepatitis than those who have no tattoos.  That doesn’t sound like that huge of difference, if you ask me.  And furthermore the number of people out there who have tattoos is as massive as it is varied.  I’d like a separate study done to tell me where the people in this study who are tattooed and hepatitis positive, got their tattoos done.  That is, what sort of establishment was it?  Or was it even an establishment?  Was it in a friend’s basement?

If so, that would explain a lot more than this article is willing to.

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