The Williams Lake Boys and Girls held a Get Tested event Thursday to mark World Aids Day.
Jordan Davis with the Blood Borne Infection-Harm Reduction Program says the event had another focus as well.
“The other piece we really wanted to get out was safe tattooing and practicing because we’re seeing a lot of really unsafe practices in our community.”
Bronson Lee Ramos, an Apprentice at Twisted and Tortured Inkworkz was on hand to offer a safe tattooing demonstration.
He says a lot of individuals are unaware that through “unsafe” body art, they can be exposed to HIV.
“The truth of the matter you’re getting a basement/scratcher tattoo, you’re putting your life at risk.”
Bowdrie Kaytor, owner and piercer at the Rabbit Hole says something to watch for when getting a body piercing, is making sure that the piercer has completed an apprenticeship and is aware of cross-contamination.
“I do all my table set up and everything and I have gloves on must because I want to keep myself safe from them and them safe from me. Just exchanging any little pricks from the needle can cause either of us problems.”
Kaytor says to also make sure your piercer’s facility has been health inspected.
Health officials say although there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission due to tattooing or body piercing, there have been cases of Hepatitis C transmission particularly when non-professional equipment has been used.