UK issue joint guidelines on HIV discrimination in tattoo and beauty salons

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

On 19 September 2019, BHIVA, BASHH, NAT, THT and HIV Scotland published joint guidelines online to tackle continued discrimination for common services.

The document explains the evidence for why it is illegal for tattooist or beauty salons to request information about a client’s HIV status or to refuse tattoos or piercings to people who are HIV positive.

This includes to avoid discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 as any person with HIV is protected under the category of disability.

Collecting information about HIV status is not justifiable, under the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation 2018 as HIV and HIV treatment are not contraindications to tattooing, piercing or cosmetic procedures.

Universal precautions also include to 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.


BHIVA and others. Joint statement from BHIVA, BASHH, NAT, THT and HIV Scotland regarding reports of discrimination against people with HIV from some providers of cosmetic treatments and tattooing. (19 September 2019).

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