Public health officials in Delaware recently shut down an illegal tattoo parlor in Magnolia and are urging anyone who’s been inked at the location to get tested for HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) as soon as possible, 47 ABC reports.
According to a warning from the Delaware Division of Public Health, 38-year-old William Smiley was tattooing people out of an unlicensed studio in his home. Smiley was operating the business without a permit or any health department regulation, which requires and ensures the use of sterile tattooing equipment.
Because Smiley kept no records of his customers, the Delaware DPH has not been able to contact anyone potentially at risk for infection to urge them to get tested. However, they are offering free testing to anyone concerned at this website.
Local health officials are also reminding people across the state never to seek body art services from an unlicensed artist and to insist on seeing any tattoo artist’s Department of Public Health permit—which is required to be posted in an obvious location at every licensed parlor—before getting inked or pierced.
Delawareans who think they might have gotten an illegal tattoo can also call the DPH Communicable Disease Bureau at 302-744-1050 and ask about the risk of transmission of hepatitis C and HIV.