I am HIV positive, what is the risk if I want a tattoo?
13 May 2010. Related: All topics.
Can you offer any advice for someone who is HIV positive and wanting to get a tattoo with regard to risk factors, precautions etc. Is it better to wait until my CD4 count is above a certain number? Does it really matter? I’m taking HIV medication with an undetectable viral load and CD4 count of 243 at my last lab results.
Thank you for your question.
There are some things to consider when deciding to get a tattoo. The most important thing is to make sure you do not get any additional infections. Try to use a reputable tattoo artist who uses single use ink pots and disposable needles and tubing. This way you can protect yourself from other infections such as hepatitis C.
Your CD4 count should not make any difference to you having the tattoo. However, if your CD4 count is very low, like below 100, it may mean you are more vulnerable to infections from the wound until the tattoo has properly healed.
As with any tattoo whether you are HIV positive or not, the after care is also important to make sure you do not get any skin infections from the wound. Following the aftercare advice of your tattoo artist is very important.