Alberta Health Services is warning that people who got tattoos at a home-based parlour may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV.

Dr. Shobhit Maruti, medical officer of health for the Edmonton area, said in a news release Friday that anyone who got a tattoo at the Hornets Nest Tattoo, or a tattoo from the shop’s operator, William (Liam) Davis, should be tested for viruses that can be spread through unsanitary procedures.

AHS issued a closure order for the shop on Feb. 19.

The closure order lists several infractions of the Public Health Act. An AHS inspection found the shop had no dedicated sinks for hand washing or cleaning equipment. The sterility of tubes and grips was insufficient and sterilization logs were not available. 

The order said Davis obstructed officers who tried to conduct an inspection. 

“He yelled at both executive officers to leave and to never come back,” the order said. 

AHS also ordered Davis to hand over a client list, which he refused to do. 

The closure order remains in effect.

AHS said the parlour at 101st Avenue and 156th Street won’t be allowed to reopen until the operator can provide services that meet Alberta’s personal services regulations and associated health standards.

Maruti said anyone who’s visited Hornets Nest Tattoo can get a simple, confidential test to determine whether they were infected.

“To prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, equipment used in tattooing must be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized according to health standards,” Maruti said. “This particular home-based tattoo operation did not have these proper sterilization or sanitation processes in place.”

People can also call Health Link at 811 with any questions or concerns.

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