Tattooing and Body Piercing Infection Control Guidance

In December 2015, the Department of Health, in conjunction with the Health Service Executive, issued a Draft Guidance Document for the development of guidance on infection control for the tattooing and body piercing industry, and included a call for submissions from the public and the industry.  The purpose of the document is to provide guidance to the industry in the absence of sector specific regulation.

The Draft Guidance issued by the Department of Health included a recommendation that if a person discloses an HIV positive status then tattooing or body piercing is not recommended.  PART A, SECTION 3. P.24 reads: “Check with the client if they have Haemophilia or a blood borne infection such as HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. If client discloses that they do, tattooing or body piercing is not recommended.”

In January 2016, in light of this particular recommendation, HIV Ireland sent a written submission to the Department of Health outlining potential inequalities for people living with HIV under these proposed guidelines and called for a removal of this recommendation from the Guidance.

National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)

HIV Ireland participates on a NSAI working committee which has contributed recommendations for inclusion in Ireland’s overall recommendations to CEN (The European Standardization Body for the development of standards) on standardising Tattooing and Body Modification practices in the EU.  HIV Ireland has endorsed the work of the NSAI and the Association of Body Modification Artists Ireland (ABMAI) in this regard.