Effect of Tattooing, Body Piercing and Intranasal Drug Use on Risk of HCV and HBV Infection
In recent years, there has been growing concern among medical professionals and hepatitis B and C community service providers that certain cosmetic procedures, including tattooing and body piercing -- as well as intranasal drug use -- might be associated with an increased risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
To explore this issue, researchers at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a cross-sectional seroprevalence study of a population with a low frequency of injection drug use. Students 18 years and older from eight college campuses in Houston were invited to participate.
Based on these results, the authors concluded, "There was no increased risk for HCV or HBV infection in low-risk adults based solely on history of cosmetic procedures or snorting drugs. However, proper infection control practices for cosmetic procedures should be followed, illegal drug use discouraged, and hepatitis B vaccination provided to adolescents and sexually active adults."
L-Y Hwang, J R Kramer, C Troisi, and others. Relationship of cosmetic procedures and drug use to hepatitis C and hepatitis B virus infections in a low- risk population. Hepatology 44(2): 341-351. August 2006.
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