Hundreds Offered Hepatitis And HIV Tests

Hundreds of people in Newport are receiving letters offering health checks for Hepatitis and HIV.

Clients who've had piercings and tattoos at Blue Voodoo, Sun Tattoo Studio and Flesh Wound in the last 2 years have been contacted.

Concerns were raised after a junior doctor came across 5 patients with a serious skin disease that had all had piercings at this site.

Public Health Wales says this could indicate a low risk of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and even HIV.

Letters have been sent to around 550 customers identified from shop records.

Public Health Wales and the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board say that the tests are being offered as a precautionary measure.

However, Dr Brendan Mason, a Consultant Epidemiologist for Public Health Wales says there is an expectation that some will test positive:

“We will find people.

“The question will then be, have they acquired it through the piercing or the tattooing?

“We’ll need to look very carefully both at their other risk factors and also about the relationship between any cases to determine whether transmission has occurred or not.”

Dr Mason says if you have contracted either infection, you may not notice any symptoms.

There are also concerns about the number of client records that weren’t traceable, meaning there could be hundreds more who could potentially be at risk.

Dr Gill Richardson, Director of Public Health for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said:

 “We are also appealing to clients that had a procedure at these premises, but haven’t received a letter from us by midday on Friday 8th May to contacts the helpline so we can arrange a test for them.

“I want to reassure people that the risk of picking up any blood borne infections through piercing or tattooing is very small, and there’s no evidence that any such transmission has occurred in this instance.”

The helpline for anyone who hasn’t received a letter is 02920 402528.