It appears as if I must close out 2011 by warning people against getting invasive procedures overseas. Yesterday breast augmentation, today tattoos. Yes, tattoos are invasive–and if you’re planning on getting one overseas because the price is right, reconsider. Australian officials claim that a recent tattoo receiver likely caught HIV from the ink-needle of an artist on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Australian health authorities recommended that people who had recently been tattooed on the island, known for its white sandy beaches, partying and nightlife, should consider being tested for HIV and other blood-borne viruses (and I’m personally even more afraid of hepatitis).

“All the evidence points to a tattoo received recently in Bali as being the source of the infection,” Western Australia’s Department of Health said in a statement dated Friday.

“This case demonstrates the very real health risk in having this type of procedure done overseas,” said Paul Armstrong, the department’s director of communicable disease control.

No shiitakes! Dang people, what’s with the utmost trust in others that makes you think humans are above using dirty tools on you? That’s just foolish. Forget the ignorance and differences in standards of many third world countries–but some people just don’t care. One reason we take things like simple hygiene for granted in the western world is that we’ve gone through the pain of experience over the last century to understand the cleanliness/godliness thing. In other words, we’ve got to be clean by law, and any violation is met with punishment and shutdown. Can we say the same for Bali?
The real answer from me is, “I don’t know”…but that’s enough for me to keep my procedures home-grown. So if you don’t know, these procedures would include:

  • plastic surgery
  • tattoos
  • dental work
  • other surgeries
  • ear piercings
  • other body piercings
  • delivering babies
  • and darn it…probably sex too (but that’s just my peculiarity)
If you feel like the deal you’re getting overseas just can’t be beat, then, well…just know the risks. I’d pay top dollar, myself, to know I’m getting the best procedures done; but really, I do care and think about my health like that. Hope you do too.
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