Tattooing process involves needles that penetrate the outermost layers of skin, safety and common sense are the most important consideration.
A legitimate, well-trained tattooist follows strict health guidelines and is willing to answer any of your questions about tattooing procedures and concerns.
The primary fear most people express about getting tattooed is that they may contract the HIV virus, which can cause AIDS. In fact, HIV is only one of many viruses that can be transmitted. Syphilis, tuberculosis, strep, staph, and hepatitis are just a few of the other diseases to take into consideration. YES, you could get these diseases from a tattoo needle.
Like many activity, tattooing is potentially dangerous, but minimizing or eliminating the potential danger is not unreasonably difficult. In fact, the strict code of practices takes every safety measure so the risk of transmitting HIV or other diseases is virtually nonexistent.
A qualified tattooist will have and use a real steam pressure autoclave - an autoclave is the only reliable means of sterilization recognized by the Center for Disease Control. Alcohol, bleach, and ultrasonic cleaning do not sterilize instruments, they only clean them before autoclaving.
Your tattooist should wear disposable rubber gloves during tattooing procedure. All items such as ointment spreaders and wiping rags should be disposable as well. The tattoo studio and tattooist's equipment and working area should be absolutely clean and sanitary.
Also make sure each customer get a fresh set of needles, and the tattooist dips the needle into a small cap filled with pigment from a large squeeze bottle. If the needle is dipped into a large jar or bottle of pigment, you are sharing body fluids with other people who have been tattooed with that batch of pigment.
When it comes to tattoo safety, use your common sense as well:
Is the tattoo studio clean?
Are tattoo supplies kept in a sterile receptacles with lids?
Does the tattooist wash hands a lot?
Does the tattooist use latex gloves when working on other clients? and do tattooist change gloves when they touch something else during the procedure?
Take responsibility for your own health and welfare!