Be careful when you get a tattoo - hepatitis c treatment

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The tattoo culture is adding to the number of “Hepatitis C” cases among youths as they surrender to the temptation of getting themselves tattooed from roadside artists. These artists use the same needle for more than one person

The doctors from private and public health sector have termed the situation alarming, as using an infected person’s razor, toothbrush, being born to a mother with hepatitis C, having sex with an infected person and sharing drug needles with an infected person are the other common causes of this deadly infection.

Dr Harish Verma (BAMS Gold Medalist), who is running an NGO, Vaidya Kirpa Ram Health Foundation and Sushruta Ayurvedic Therapy Center in New Delhi. While referring to some cases that had come for treatment at the foundation, said, “It is rather shocking that young boys and girls actually get themselves tattooed with unsterilized instruments and needles. There have been cases, wherein, people have become carriers by using nail cutter of an infected person, as the Hepatitis C virus remains alive for seven days,” said Dr. Verma.

He also called upon medical research institutions and doctors to evolve a cost-effective treatment for such patients adding that a large number of people lived with Hepatitis C and died with it as the treatment was out of their reach.

“The problem has increased manifold in Punjab due to the unrestrained practice of quacks in villages, who use multiple vials. The blood transfusion made prior to 1993, when screening for Hepatitis B and C was not done too has resulted in many cases of Hepatitis C.”

Preventive Measures

1. Never share objects such as needles, razors, toothbrushes, nail files, and clippers.
2. When getting a manicure, tattoo, or body piercing, make sure sterile instruments are used and that the institution is licensed.
3. Always practice safe sex. People with hepatitis C infection who have multiple sexual partners or are in short-term relationships should use a barrier protection.
4. Safe blood transfusions.
5. Medical or dental interventions with adequate sterilization of equipment

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