Tattoo Scare - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tattoo Scare

Nearly 150 local high school students are being advised to have testing for HIV, as well as Hepatitus B, and C, after getting tattoos and body piercings at an un-liscenced home. Now there's a warning to kids and parents about tattoo safety.

Big Tom's Uptown Tattoo and Matrix Body piercing in Correyville stick to a strict policy regarding minors. They don't tattoo anyone under 18 and minors who get piercings must be with a parent.

"There's a reason you have to be 18," says tattoo artist Melissa Hamilton.

But lots of kids don't like to hear that. So when people like Tony Pippin start tattooing minors from home, according to police, word spreads fast. Colerain police fear disease may have spread too. That's why they've advised more than 150 students from Colerain, Northwest, La Salle, and Diamond Oaks High Schools to get tested for Hepatitus B, C, and HIV.    Meanwhile, the Hamilton County Health District has issued a warning to anyone considering a piercing or tattoo.

First, all shops should have a liscence sitting on the wall like the one at Big Tom's. If not, request to see one. The establishment should look clean. The instruments should be sterilized in what's called an auto clave. And all of instruments should be disposible---used one time only. And remember, if the parlor is willing to ignore the law when it comes to your age, chances are they may do the same when it comes to clean, safe instruments.

"You have to sterilize your instruments, can transmit diseases through it if you don't," said Hamilton.

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