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Needles

Risks Involved in Sharing Needles

Injection drug users who share needles are at greatest risk of being infected with HIV or Hepatitis C Virus. Sharing needles is like injecting another person's blood right into your body, even if you cannot see it on the needle. HIV and Hepatitis C cannot be transmitted intravenously if the needle is new. If you are concerned about exposure through injection drug use, we offer HIV and Hepatitis C testing at our testing location. All of our testing is confidential and we are happy to help you with information and resources.


Tattoos


Risks Involved in Getting Tattooed 


What are the risks of getting a tattoo?


Getting a tattoo under unsanitary conditions may lead to exposure to various blood-borne infections such as HIV, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. 

When considering a tattoo artist/studio, make sure you ask a few important questions:


  • Is the facility licensed?
  • Do they use an autoclave to sterilize equipment?
  • Will the artist ensure that the needles being used have been properly sterilized by showing me proof of sterilization during set up?
  • How does the artist break down and sterilize his/her equipment after completion?
  • Does the artist re-use ink?

 Not only may HIV transmission occur from using non-sterilized needles, it may also occur from sharing ink. HIV starts to die the moment oxygen hits it, however HIV is protected from oxygen if it is inside the ink, and may live there for up to 2 weeks.