Inked & Informed: Understanding Hepatitis and Safe Tattoos

Posted 21 March, 2024
Other News
Grants now open to raise awareness of viral hepatitis across Queensland
2 min read
Posted 2 April, 2024

Organisations are invited to apply for grants that raise awareness about viral hepatitis Three grants…

Read Article
How Queensland Prisons Celebrate National Condom Day
2 min read
Posted 14 February, 2024

In the heart of Queensland, where the sun kisses the golden land, and the coral…

Read Article
Preventing Liver Cancer This World Cancer Day
2 min read
Posted 4 February, 2024

Preventing Liver Cancer This World Cancer Day Every year on 4th February, World Cancer Day…

Read Article

Tattoos have long been a form of self-expression, artistry, and cultural identity for people around the globe. From intricate designs to meaningful symbols, tattoos adorn the bodies of millions, telling stories and reflecting personalities. World Tattoo Day, held annually on 21st March, celebrates the art, history and culture of tattooing.

What’s the risk of hepatitis when getting a tattoo?

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can be passed on through blood-to-blood contact. This is when the blood of someone with hepatitis B or C gets into someone else’s blood. 

The risk of hepatitis B and hepatitis C when getting a tattoo depends on whether the tattoo equipment has been thoroughly cleaned. Tattoo needles and tattoo ink that haven’t been sterilised can spread blood from one person to another. 

What are ‘backyard’ tattoos

Most cases of viral hepatitis from tattoos come from what’s known as ‘backyard’ tattoos. This is when a tattoo is done outside of a professional tattoo studio, like someone’s home, backyard or prison. These tattoos are typically done by untrained or unlicensed people using equipment that hasn’t been sterilised.

Hepatitis and Safe Tattoos - InPage Image

What about professional tattoo studios?

In Queensland, licensed tattooists have to follow strict hygiene standards to prevent diseases from spreading. This includes sterilising equipment thoroughly and using separate ink containers between clients. As well as lowering the risk of disease, seeing a professional means you are likely to get better art and reduce the likelihood of nerve damage.

Choosing a safe tattoo studio

When visiting a tattoo studio, don’t hesitate to ask about their hygiene and sterilisation practices. Reputable tattoo artists will gladly provide information on how they maintain a safe and clean environment for their clients.

Getting tested for hepatitis

Hepatitis symptoms often go unnoticed for many years. If you’re concerned you may have been exposed to hepatitis B or C while getting a tattoo, getting tested involves a blood test or fingerstick test. Your local doctor can organise this.

If you do test positive, the good news is hepatitis B can be managed with regular check-ups and hepatitis C can be cured.

Useful Resources
View Resource
View Resource
View Resource

Related News
Read Article
Read Article
Read Article

This website may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed on.