BASHH issues joint statement on tattooing and cosmetic treatments

19th September 2019

New joint guidelines from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and other medical experts and voluntary sector organisations emphasise that banning HIV positive people from having a tattoo, piercing or beauty treatment is illegal under the Equality Act 2010.  Asking clients if they are HIV positive is also unjustified according to data protection legislation (Data protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation 2018) as collecting this information is unnecessary. 

BASHH, the British HIV Association (BHIVA),  the National AIDS Trust (NAT), Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and HIV Scotland have joined together to explain that HIV and HIV treatment do not present a barrier to tattooing, piercing and cosmetic or routine beauty treatments.  The new guidelines have been produced in response to reports from the HIV positive community of being refused tattoos or asked about their HIV status by beauty treatment providers in pre-treatment questionnaires.  These actions are illegal, inappropriate and reinforce HIV stigma.

The guidelines explain that licensing requirements mean that clients are protected from HIV and other blood-borne viruses by standard universal precautions, such as sterilising equipment, using fresh disposable gloves, and new ink for each and every person. These treat each and every client as though they may have an undiagnosed blood-borne virus and eliminate the risk of a blood-borne virus being passed from one client to another.

To read the guidelines in full click here.

BASHH Website Upload- BASHH issues joint statement on tattooing and cosmetic treatments.pdf

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