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Nov 8, 2001

Dear Mr. Ryan I had a tattoo done 10 months ago, and the needle were new, and the artist followed all the universal precautions for tattooing, but I am very scared since I didn't see him putting the ink in the machine. There were nobody before me, but I'm very scared since I got a VDRL false positive, and I've been very anxious and I feel guilty cause my mother told me not to do it, etc. I'm very depressed, were I at low or high risk??

Response from Mr. Kull

There is no evidence that HIV has ever been transmitted through the process of tattooing in tattoo parlors. The fact that the artist followed all of the universal precautions for infection control is a great sign that your health was protected. Based on this information, you are not at risk for HIV infection.

The fact that you feel guilty about getting tattooed in light of your mother's discouragement might have a lot to do with your level of anxiety. If you can't talk with her about it, try to find someone who can be supportive and listen to your worries.


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