Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

According to a recent report on Promed, the Department of Health in Australia is warning Western Australians against having tattoo’s abroad. This is in response to a confirmed case of HIV in an Australian where evidence of infection points to a recent tattoo received in Bali, Indonesia.

Having tattoo’s, body piercing and acupuncture abroad is not advised. While tattooists in the UK and Australia must comply with a code of practice and strict regulations, this is not always so in tattoo parlours overseas. Equipment used can be contaminated with blood and can pose a risk of contracting blood- borne infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. These blood – borne infections are transmitted through blood to blood contact or sexual activity. Hepatitis B can be prevented by having a course of vaccinations; however HIV and Hepatitis C are not vaccine preventable.

Advice for Travellers

  • Do not have body piercings, tattoo’s or acupuncture abroad.
  • If possible avoid having medical or dental treatment abroad,
  • Never have unprotected sex, Always practice safe sex. Make sure you take an adequate supply of condoms for your trip.
  • If you have to buy condoms abroad, make sure they are in date and carry a recognised quality mark.
  • Consider taking a Sterile Medical Kit with you if you are travelling to areas where medical facilities may be poor.
  • Do not take drugs. Never share drug equipment.
  • Do not share razors, toothbrushes or nail scissors.
  • Consider having a course of Hepatitis B vaccine before you travel, especially if you are planning a long stay trip or are going to remote locations.
  • Consider joining the Blood Care Foundation. The Blood Care Foundation is a charitable, not for profit organisation, The Foundation operates a Blood Care Programme, which is designed to provide screened blood, in an emergency, to its members in any part of the world.

 

World AIDS Day is held every year on 1 December. It is held to highlight the fight against HIV and a chance for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 and was the first ever global health day.

In the UK there are currently more than  90,000 people living with HIV. Globally an estimated 33.3 million people have HIV. Between 1981 and 2007  more than 25 million people have died from the Aids virus , making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The HIV virus attacks the body’s immune system — the body’s defence against diseases. HIV is passed on though infected bodily fluids, most commonly it is spread via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment

HIV rates abroad are higher than in the UK. In sub-Saharan Africa HIV infection has reached epidemic proportions with 33.2 million people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2007 [1].

Advice for Traveller’s

  • Always practice safe sex.
  • Carry an adequate supply of condoms on your trip.
  • Make sure condoms are in date and carry the  BSI or CE kite-mark.
  • Avoid risky behaviour e.g. unprotected sex, tattoos, piercings, visiting traditional barbers in high risk destinations.
  • Carry a Sterile Medical Kit that contains needles and syringes in case you need medical treatment in a remote area.
  • Dental and surgical procedures should also be avoided in high risk areas.

 

World Aids Day 2011To pledge your support for World Aids Day click here

Sussex Travel Clinic is part of the C- Card Scheme and can supply free condoms to anyone aged 13 – 25 – just pop into clinic to collect your free pack and card.

Sussex Travel Clinic offers HIV testing for Visa and Employment purposes – please call 01273 749100.

 References

1. www.nathnac.org

 

 

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