The temporary closure of the Bangkok tattoo shop followed reports of the recent death of a 22-year old woman from Loei province last month, where HIV was recorded by a doctor as one of the causes. (See story here.)
A health official from Patong Municipality, Sirawat Kraingkrai, has also warned tourists to be aware when choosing a tattoo shop and make sure the shop features a ‘Patong Municipal Health Certificate’ on the premises.
Mr Sirawat said, “We have issued this warning following the report that four female friends recently died of AIDS-related illnesses after having tattoos together at Klong Lot market near the Grand Palace, Bangkok in March.
“For health protection for tattoo customers, Patong Municipality is requesting tattoo operators strictly follow specific guidelines. We hold clean and safe tattoo training every three years and check tattoo shops every year,” he said.
“There are about 70 approved tattoo shops in the Patong area already and there are a further 10 awaiting their certification from us.
“We want to repeat to them to be clean in their business to avoid any risk of infection.
“We sent the following notice to tattoo shops on Sept 4, which was signed by Patong Deputy Mayor Banyong Kebsup.”
1. All tattoo operators must be clean and sterilise all equipment, which must be one-time-use only and then thrown away. All equipment must be neat and sterilised before use.
2. All tattoo operators must always clean the tattoo shops using sterile liquids.
3. All tattoo needles, ink, cotton pads and gloves must be used only one time (they must not be reused). All of these items must be thrown in a bin specifically for infectious items and sent to the health office who will destroy them.
4. All tattoo operators must ask their prospective customers about their personal health problems before giving a tattoo. Any customer suffering diabetes or hemophilia must not be serviced.
5. All tattoo operators must advise their customers after having of things to ensure there are no avoid infections such as not going into the sea.
“Please follow this regulations seriously,” the notice read.