Canada: 3,000 Warned of HIV Risk at Tattoo Shop

Customers who received tattoos or body piercings at Moonshin Tattoo, located on Dundas Street West in Mississauga, between March 2005 and February 2009 have been advised to seek testing for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Peel Public Health issued the call after learning the shop had failed to keep adequate maintenance records for its sterilization equipment. Dr. Eileen de Villa, associate medical officer of health, acknowledged that PPH had inspected the facility only twice in the past four years, even though provincial regulations require annual inspections. De Villa blamed the lack of regular inspections on a shortage of provincial funding and resources. She noted that the "onus for ensuring that they're maintaining a certain standard of care and compliance with the ministry standards is actually on the establishment owners." De Villa said the advisory is a "precautionary measure" and the risk of infection is low. After the inspection on Feb. 11, the shop was ordered to cease using multiple-use needles and clamps until inspectors were satisfied of adequate record-keeping. Moonshin Tattoo resumed regular operations on March 3.